30 March 2011 13:31 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--Polimeri Europa plans to restart its 200,000 tonne/year low density polyethylene (LDPE) line at Dunkirk, France, following a prolonged shutdown that began at the end of August 2010, a company source said on Wednesday.
With its new tubular reactor, the line is expected to be back on stream soon, the source said.
“We are very close to target pressure, maybe tomorrow,” said the source, referring to the pressure needed to make polyethylene (PE).
While the site's 140,000 tonne/year linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) plant came back on line in November, the LDPE line has remained out of action and attempts to restart it have been unsuccessful.
The company declared force majeure in January, and this is expected to remain in place until a sustainable stock level is built, the source said.
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Prices for LDPE in March have been around €1,500/tonne ($2,113/tonne) FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe) on a net basis. At the end of 2010, prices were at €1,300/tonne FD NWE.
Producers are now attempting to raise prices further in April following the increase in the April ethylene contract, which settled up by €10/tonne from March to reach €1,205/tonne FD NWE.
Increases of €10/tonne and €50/tonne are being targeted, depending on the producer.
“I don’t care what [producers] are asking for, I’m not paying a penny more for my material in April,” said one buyer.
Contract discussions will not begin until the beginning of April at the earliest and will continue on well into the month.
LDPE is used widely in the packaging and agricultural sectors.
($1 = €0.71)
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