Argentine cold spell brings natgas cuts to petchems

27 June 2011 22:04  [Source: ICIS news]

BUENOS AIRES (ICIS)--Petrochemical companies in Argentina are currently experiencing natural gas (natgas) shortages because of this week’s cold spell, an industry executive said on Monday.

“This cold spell made the cuts worst, but they began as soon as the cool weather started. We’ve been experiencing natgas supply cuts for the last month and a half,” said Rolando Meninato, president of Dow Cono Sur.

Other companies affected include Compania Mega and Profertil.

They have petrochemical operations at the complex in Bahia Blanca, Buenos Aires province.

Because of the cuts in natural gas, companies have reduced production rates.

The natural gas shortage is also threatening the nation's sugarcane mills, which provide feedstock for ethanol, according to a statement by Julio Colombres, president of the Regional Sugarcane Center of Tucuman.

Most of the sugar mills of the province use natural gas for energy, he said.

Restricting industrial supplies of natural gas is a frequent measure taken by Argentine authorities during the last decade in order to guarantee residential supply for heating.

On Monday, temperatures fell below freezing in 13 Argentine provinces, including Buenos Aires, San Juan, San Luis, Cordoba, Catamarca and Tierra del Fuego.

Argentina's National Meteorological Service said a cold air mass will continue moving over the country this week.

By: Cristina Kroll
+1 713 525 2653

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