03 February 2012 16:55 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS)--US polyethylene (PE) producer ExxonMobil informed customers it would begin allocating sales of its high molecular weight high density polyethylene (HDPE) products produced at its Mont Belvieu facility, sources said on Friday.
The customer allocation is a result of "unexpected operational difficulties" according to a copy of a 3 February customer letter obtained by ICIS.
"We are currently assessing the full impact to our polyethylene supply capability, but have determined it is necessary to allocate quantities of product," the letter states. "The quantity of each product that will be allocated to you is still being determined and will be communicated to you as soon as possible."
It was not clear what caused the operational difficulties. A company spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The company had previously announced similar allocations for high molecular weight HDPE in August and October of 2011.
One market participant said it has been hearing about ongoing problems at the plant for several weeks, adding that the formal announcement indicates the problems will take a while to fix.
ExxonMobil has a 240,000 tonne/year capacity HDPE unit at its Mont Belvieu facility, according to ICIS plants and projects.
($1 = €0.76)
For more on ExxonMobil's plants visit ICIS plants and projects
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