Lotte Chemical UK restarts PTA and PET plants in Wilton, England

27 April 2011 12:57  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--After 22 days off line, Lotte Chemical UK’s purified terephthalic acid (PTA) and downstream polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plants in Wilton, UK, are back in production, a company source said on Wednesday.

“We are back online and have been running steady for a couple of days,” Mark Kenrick, business director for Lotte Chemical UK, said.

The plants were due to restart mid-April but technical problems involving the catalyst caused a 10-day delay.

“Events gave rise to a force majeure [on PTA on 3 April] and customers continue to be impacted as a result through May,” Kenrick added.

This is the second force majeure in as many months at the Wilton plant in northeast England, which has a PTA capacity of 500,000 tonnes/year.

Kenrick confirmed that the 150,000 tonne/year PET unit started up successfully after its enforced overhaul, which was brought forward a month because of the force majeure on PTA.

The PTA market remains tight in Europe following a spate of force majeures. However, global weakening in upstream paraxylene (PX) and monoethylene glycol (MEG) prices, added to crashing PTA prices in Asia and a strong euro against the US dollar, all point to softer PTA values in Europe, buyers and one seller agreed.

March PTA contract prices were assessed at €1,035–1,056/tonne FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe), according to ICIS data.

($1 = €0.68)

For more on PTA, PET, PX and MEG, visit ICIS chemical intelligence
Visit the complete ICIS plants and projects database

By: Caroline Murray
44208 652 3214

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