Europe plasticiser producers set to enter maintenance season

18 July 2011 16:48  [Source: ICIS news]

2-EH is used to make PVC plasticisers (source: Hydro Polymers)LONDON (ICIS)--European plasticiser producers will enter their turnaround season in the next couple of months as demand weakens and spot prices continue to soften, market sources said on Monday.

France-based Arkema’s dioctyl phthalate (DOP) and phthalic anhydride (PA) facilities in Chauny, France, are to undergo a maintenance shutdown in August lasting two to three weeks.

The DOP unit has a nameplate capacity of 70,000 tonnes/year and the PA unit has a nameplate capacity of 30,000 tonnes/year.

Supply will not be affected during the turnaround because weak demand has allowed the company to build inventories in advance.

Germany-based BASF’s plasticisers facilities at Ludwigshafen will undergo annual maintenance in September.

The facilities have a combined capacity of 300,000 tonnes/year for di-isononyl phthalate (DINP) and di-propyl heptyl phthalate (DPHP), and a capacity of 100,000 tonnes/year for the company's Hexamoll DINCH plasiciser.

Sweden-based Perstorp will have a maintenance shutdown at its 65,000 tonne/year plasticisers unit in the second half of September. 

The facilities in Stenungsund, Sweden, produce both DOP and DPHP.

Its 120,000 tonne/year 2-ethylhexanol (2-EH) unit, also at Stenungsund, will undergo maintenance work in the first half of September.

The company’s 90,000 tonne/year n-butanol (NBA) plant will undergo a maintenance shutdown that is scheduled to start on 27 July and expected to last until the week ending on 12 August.

Because of technical problems the NBA plant is running below its normal capacity, hindering the company’s efforts to build inventories before the shutdown, said a company source.

Polish company Zaklady Azotowe Kedzierzyn (ZAK) is expected to restart its oxo-alcohols complex on 25 July.

The plant at Kedzierzyn-Kozle in southern Poland shut down on 26 June for three weeks of maintenance, but technical problems delayed the restart by one week.

It has a nameplate capacity of 60,000 tonnes/year of DOP, 36,000 tonnes/year of NBA, 24,000 tonnes/year of isobutanol (IBA) and 132,000 tonnes/year of 2-EH, according to a company source.

Last week prices were at €1,520–1,570/tonne for DOP, down by €30/tonne ($42/tonne); at €1,750–1,800/tonne for DPHP, down by €70–90/tonne, and at €1,700–1,800/tonne for DINP and di-isodecyl phthalate (DIDP), down by €50/tonne.

Sources said that decreases in feedstock costs, good availability and poor buying interest, partly due to the summer holiday season, had led to the decreases.

Other DOP producers include Oxea, Polynt, Oltchim, Orgachim and Deza, while other DINP producers include Polynt, Evonik Oxeno, ExxonMobil and Deza.

($1 = €0.71)

For more on oxo-alcohols and plasticisers visit ICIS chemical intelligence
For more on Perstorp, Arkema and BASF visit ICIS company intelligence
Please visit the complete ICIS plants and projects database

By: Abache Abreu
+44 2086523214

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