Switzerland's INEOS resumes output at German PO/MPG plants

02 December 2011 18:03  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--INEOS Oxide’s propylene oxide (PO) and monopropylene glycol (MPG) operations in Cologne, Germany, are now running at normal rates following a recent forced shutdown, a source at the Switzerland-headquartered chemicals producer said on Friday.

The German PO/MPG facilities came back on stream last week, the source added.

The PO unit went offline unexpectedly over the weekend of 12–13 November for technical reasons. This subsequently resulted in the shutdown of the downstream MPG unit.

The Cologne operations have nameplate capacities of 210,000 tonnes/year for PO and 135,000 tonnes/year for MPG, according to ICIS data.

In other news, Dutch producer LyondellBasell’s PO/MPG units at Botlek, in the Netherlands, has also resumed output, following an extended maintenance period, according to market sources. The maintenance turnaround was thought to have started in September and originally expected to last until November, although the restart was subject to delay, the reasons for which were unclear. This has not been officially confirmed at source.

Nameplate capacity for PO at Botlek is 260,000 tonnes/year and 80,000 tonnes/year for MPG, according to ICIS plants and projects data.

MPG spot prices have increased slightly over the last few weeks because of production problems and some additional seasonal demand. Spot prices are largely in the €1,200s/tonne ($1,680s/tonne) FD (free delivered), although prices in the low €1,300s/tonne were also heard.

For PO the market has remained balanced, despite recent production constraints for two main players as a result of a year-end slowdown in demand in the polyols sector. PO contract prices have largely moved in line with feedstock developments in November, and are expected to follow a similar trend in December.

($1 = €0.74)

By: Heidi Finch
+44 20 8652 3214

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