Hungary's MOL to go ahead with butadiene plant investment

22 February 2012 12:37  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Hungary’s MOL Group is to go ahead with the construction of a butadiene (BD) plant, with forecasts of favourable market conditions for its output for at least the next decade, the company said on Wednesday.

MOL has examined the prospects for a 130,000 tonne/year BD plant, which would be constructed by 2014.

However, it has yet to finally decide on the unit’s capacity, the investment sum required for construction or the project realisation date, said company spokesman Domokos Szollar.

An advantage of investments in BD is that market supply of the product, typically used in manufacturing tyres, is limited by the availability of crude C4 feedstock, rather than by a lack of plant capacity, he added.

MOL could not say whether the plant would be built in Hungary or Slovakia, Szollar said.

Slovakia’s Slovnaft, a MOL subisidiary, has previously suggested it might commit to a BD project.

Poland’s PKN Orlen, a central and eastern European producer, recently expressed satisfaction at its BD margins, according to ING Bank analyst Tamas Pletser.

Companies dependent on ethane-based crackers were unable to create highly efficient BD lines, unlike naphtha-based producers such as Orlen and MOL, he added.

On 21 February, analysts cast doubt on whether Poland’s Synthos could sell an idled 90,000 tonne/year BD unit in the Czech Republic.

They noted that no new rubber capacities will be added in central and eastern Europe for at least three years.

For more on BD visit ICIS chemical intelligence 

By: Will Conroy
+44 20 8652 3214

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