08 April 2011 21:41 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--INEOS is close to completing its planned maintenance at an ethylene oxide (EO) and monoethylene glycol (MEG) facility in Antwerp, Belgium, with a restart expected during the weekend, a company source said on Friday.
The Antwerp facility went down on 18 March, and the turnaround was expected to last a few weeks. The Antwerp facility has a nameplate capacity of 420,000 tonnes/year for EO and 340,000 tonnes/year for MEG, according to ICIS.
Also, the company’s EO/MEG facility at Cologne in Germany is scheduled to go down for maintenance in June for a similar timeframe. The Cologne facility has a nameplate capacity of 290,000 tonnes/year for EO and 175,000 tonnes/year for MEG.
Several other EO facilities in Europe are also expected to undergo maintenance.
Among those facilities, BASF’s EO unit at Ludwigshafen in Germany is scheduled to shut down in the second week of May. The outage is expected to last for three weeks.
The company’s EO/MEG plant at Antwerp is scheduled to enter into maintenance in September, although the duration has not been disclosed.
Also in May, planned maintenance was scheduled to start at PKN Orlen’s EO/MEG plant in Poland, a company source said. The turnaround is expected to begin on 9 May and last for about two weeks, it added.
The European EO market is moving from a tight to a slightly more balanced state during April, buyers said. This was following the end of maintenance work for INEOS at Antwerp and for Shell at Moerdjik, two main merchant EO manufacturers.
Sellers did not confirm any improvement in supply.
Buyers, however, did acknowledge that there was unlikely to be any significant relief in EO supply until the middle of the year. By then, the main portion of the EO maintenance work should be completed and demand should be weaker with the end of the summer holidays.
EO is used to make MEG, a feedstock for polyethylene terephthalate (PET). PET is used to make beverage bottles.
Additional reporting by Caroline Murray
For more on EO, MEG or PET visit ICIS chemical intelligence
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