Sweden's Perstorp restarts production at oxo-alcohols facility

02 March 2012 16:42  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Production at Sweden-based Perstorp’s oxo-alcohols facility in Stenungsund has restarted after technical problems led to a shutdown on 23 February, a company source said on Friday.

Perstorp’s oxo-alcohols unit on the Swedish west coast, which includes a 90,000 tonne/year n-butanol (NBA) unit and a 120,000 tonne/year 2-ethylhexanol (2-EH) unit, had previously suffered an unplanned shutdown on Friday, 17 February, also caused by technical issues.

The shutdown has affected availability in the European oxo-alcohols market, in which conditions are balanced-to-tight because of production outages, low inventories and strong demand.

The source said: “In the fourth quarter, the vast majority of companies were destocking because of economic uncertainty and now we’ve had much better-than-expected demand”.

Europe NBA spot prices have increased by €20-40/tonne to €1,130-1,200/tonne ($1,490–1,580/tonne) FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe) on higher feedstock and balanced-to-tight market conditions.

2-EH prices have increased by €40–80/tonne to €1,420–1,500/tonne FD NWE for the same reasons.

The current ranges do not reflect the full propylene (PP) price increase and a European producer is rejecting orders below €1,200/tonne because of poor availability, so further rises are widely expected.

Perstorp is a specialty chemicals company and its products are used mainly in the aerospace, marine, coatings, chemicals, plastics, engineering and construction industries.

Oxo-alcohols are used as solvents and react with phthalic anhydride to form phthalates, used as vinyl plasticisers.

($1 = €0.75)

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By: Abache Abreu
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