02 December 2011 16:53 [Source: ICIS news]
The project will connect German chemical major BASF’s petrochemicals hub at
The court’s decision allows EPS to complete the remaining 1.5km of the 370km pipeline and to begin operations, but at its own risk as there are still cases against the project pending before higher courts, Fellner said.
In Rhineland Palatinate and Bavaria the pipeline is already completed.
Klaus Thiel, an EPS spokesperson who focuses on the project’s legal troubles in Baden-Wurttemberg, said about 20 plaintiffs are still pursuing cases before an administrative court in Stuttgart and before Germany’s federal constitutional court.
The constitutional court would look at the legal basis of a Baden-Wurttemberg state law that was passed to allow certain expropriations to facilitate the project, Thiel said.
Thiel said EPS was “about 90%” sure that those cases would go in its favour, given that all court decisions so far were favourable. The consortium will therefore go ahead to complete and start the pipeline up, he added.
Meanwhile, EPS could negotiate further with the plaintiffs, who may still withdraw their cases, he added.
However, he would not rule out that “in a worst case”, EPS may be ordered to stop operating the line if the courts should rule against it.
So far, court cases and objections have delayed the project’s start-up by about four years, driving costs up to around €200m ($270m). As part of efforts to accommodate some property owners, the pipeline’s overall length had to be extended by 10km, which added to costs.
The project, which received a €45m subsidy from the
Following start-up in mid-2012, capacity would be gradually ramped up to its 400,000 tonnes/year volume, the officials said.
EPS’ stakeholders include BASF, the Netherlands-based ethylene producer LyondellBasell, Austrian polyethylene producer Borealis, Swiss speciality chemicals producer Clariant, Austrian oil and gas firm OMV, German PVC producer Vinnolit and German chemical company Wacker.
However, the line will not be reserved to those firms alone. Under the project’s “common carrier” concept,
The project will connect
($ = €0.75)
For more on BASF, LyondellBasell and other producers visit ICIS company intelligenceFor more on ethylene visit ICIS chemical intelligence
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