Brazil's Braskem ETBE plant off line until end of November

03 November 2011 16:00  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Brazilian producer Braskem is undertaking a turnaround at its ethyl tertiary butyl ether (ETBE) plant at Triunfo, southern Brazil, that is scheduled to last until the end of November, a company source said on Thursday.

The 170,000 tonne/year facility was taken off line around a week ago, the source said.

Braskem is the only producer of ETBE outside Europe, where it is used as a gasoline additive and is a biofuel alternative to methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE).

The turnaround coincides with the start of the low season for ETBE demand in Europe, which comes as a result of reduced driving levels in winter. In addition, winter-spec gasoline requires lower levels of heavy components such as ethers.

Despite the turnaround, Braskem will continue to ship product to Europe. “There will be impacts [on supplies], of course, but we will cover our contracts,” the source said.

ETBE premiums over MTBE firmed slightly over the past two weeks by $25/tonne (€18/tonne) to $75–125/tonne FOB (free on board) ARA (Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp) amid tighter supplies. A trader said it expects further increases as a result of the reduced imports arriving from Brazil.

($1 = €0.73)

By: Ross Yeo
+44 208 652 3214

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