14 March 2011 12:22 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--BP has lifted its force majeure (FM) on purified terephthalic acid (PTA) at Geel, Belgium, and restarted the plant, a company spokesperson said on Monday.
“The fourth force majeure was lifted one minute past midnight on Saturday 12 March. The plant is up and running close to full rates,” the spokesperson confirmed.
This was BP’s fourth PTA FM since December and the source of much disruption to availability along the chain, sources said.
An earlier FM at Lotte Chemicals UK (LCUK) had compounded the situation.
“[LCUK] is back to normal supply situation in March,” an LCUK company source said.
The scarcity of PTA has led to reduced PET output and an FM at Artenius’ European sites at El Prat de Llobregat in Spain, San Giorgio in Italy, Volos in Greece and Adana in Turkey.
“Generally there is no [PET] material in March,” a customer acknowledged.
The tightness in the market and higher feedstock costs resulted in PET prices surpassing the €1,600/tonne ($2,222/tonne) FD (free delivered) Europe barrier. This was up by around €300/tonne compared to January.
Paraxylene (PX) which feeds into PTA, went up to €1,270/tonne FD NWE (northwest Europe), an increase of €150/tonne from January to March.
Monoethylene glycol (MEG), PET’s secondary feedstock, settled at €1,130/tonne FD NWE in March, up from February’s contract at €1,070/tonne.
In January MEG contracts were agreed at €1,035/tonne.
BP produces 3.3m tonnes/year of PTA at Geel.
($1 = €0.72)
Julia Meehan contributed to this article
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