24 June 2011 23:48 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS)--US polymers producer INEOS experienced a problem at its La Porte, Texas, polyethylene (PE) plant, and the site's PE units could be down until 1 July, sources said on Friday.
The company warned customers of potential restrictions, said a buyer, who received notice from the company.
Other sources reported hearing of the outage, but were unsure of what caused the problem.
The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
INEOS has seven high density PE (HDPE) lines at its La Porte plant with a combined capacity of 781,000 tonnes/year, according to information on the company's website.
The outage at INEOS could put additional pressure on ethylene prices, which plummeted on average by 8% this week on weakening demand and a drop in derivative prices.
Ethylene for June traded at 57.50–63.00 cents/lb ($1,268–1,389/tonne, €887–972/tonne), down from 65.25–66.00 cents/lb a week earlier, while July ethylene traded at 56.50–63.00 cents/lb, down from 64.25–65.50 cents/lb in the previous week.
The slump in ethylene spot prices reflected a slowdown in PE demand in both domestic and export markets, sources said, adding that some PE producers were actually selling ethylene instead of PE.
($1 = €0.70)
Additional reporting by William Lemos.
For more on INEOS’s plants visit ICIS plants and projects
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