01 December 2011 12:52 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--Polimeri Europa’s cracker at Dunkirk, France, should be back onstream over the 3–4 December weekend, a company source said on Thursday.
The restart of the cracker has had a series of delays due to additional checks following its unexpected shutdown on 23 October.
It had originally been expected to restart “before mid-November”, while the latest news was that the cracker was in the restart phase on 24 November.
“We will run, but we will be reduced in line with demand,” the company source added, responding to some suggestions that the delays are more market-related than technical.
There is widespread market speculation surrounding operations at European crackers because of ongoing weak demand and fears already being voiced that the recovery in January and February will be less than stellar.
Most crackers are already running at significantly reduced rates, but many sources expect more units to run at technical minimums – generally pegged at about 60% of nameplate capacity – in December.
Cracker restarts following planned maintenances have not gone without hitches and there are ongoing rumours concerning planned shutdowns at one or two sites for market reasons.
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