22 February 2012 12:47 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--INEOS has declared force majeure on propylene supplies at its site in Cologne, Germany, following an unplanned shutdown at its No.4 cracker, according to correspondence from the multinational chemicals company seen by ICIS on Wednesday.
At the end of last week there was a leak on the superheater which forced the No.4 cracker to shut down. Initial indications suggest that it is likely to be off line for around 21 days.
It was too early to have a clear view on possible impact on the propylene market, although one buyer said it had quickly been able to sufficiently cover the missing INEOS volumes, stating that the propylene market is largely balanced. The same source also said that any impact is also likely to be lessened by the fact that the smaller of the two crackers at the site has been affected.
It is thought that recent weather-related derivative problems on the inland market may also be able to mitigate any possible effects of propylene supply problems.
Prior to the INEOS issue, however, sellers had maintained that propylene supply was balanced to tight, following ongoing reduced capacity and weather-related cracker operational issues and improved demand.
INEOS has two crackers at the Cologne site – which have nameplate capacities of 450,000 tonnes/year and 660,000 tonnes/year respectively – and an overall nameplate capacity of 655,000 tonnes/year, according to ICIS records.
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