SABIC’s Wilton LDPE on stream after planned shutdown

24 March 2011 10:05  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--SABIC’s 400,000 tonne/year low density polyethylene (LDPE) plant at Wilton, UK, is back on stream and producing prime product following a planned shutdown which began during the weekend of 26-27 February, a company source said on Thursday.

“The plant came back up the day before yesterday (22 March) and is now producing prime material. It has been a very smooth start-up,” said the source.

LDPE availability has been tight for several months following the permanent shutdown of several older autoclave plants in Europe in 2009 and sporadic production problems at other facilities.

LDPE prices are now at a record high, around €1,500/tonne FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe), and some LDPE grades, such as for coating applications, are considered to be structurally short.

Dow announced a €50/tonne ($70/tonne) increase for April polyethylene (PE), based on high prices in the volatile crude and naphtha sectors, but other producers said they would wait for the April ethylene monomer contract to settle before making plans for April PE pricing.

PE sources expected a rollover to slight increase for the new monomer contract, which currently stands at €1,195/tonne FD NWE.

PE sellers successfully managed to transfer the €60/tonne increase in the March monomer contract on to the PE market as the supply/demand balance remained in their favour.

PE is used in packaging and agricultural sectors.

($1 = €0.71)

For more on LDPE visit ICIS chemical intelligence
By: Linda Naylor
+44 20 8652 3214

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