France's Oxochimie aims to restart oxo-alcohols facility next week

19 April 2012 17:07  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Oxochimie, a joint venture between France-based Arkema and Switzerland-headquartered INEOS Oxide, plans to restart its oxo-alcohols facility in Lavera, France, on the Mediterranean coast at the beginning of next week, a company source said on Thursday.

The oxo-alcohols facility, which has a capacity of 150,000 tonnes/year of 2-ethylhexanol (2-EH), 150,000 tonnes/year of n-butanol and 30,000 tonnes/year of isobutanol, was expected to restart production between 10-12 April, after a five-week five-yearly maintenance shutdown.

However, a technical incident during the restarting process forced the company to postpone operations for about 12 days.

The company’s stocks of oxo-alcohols were not as high as expected prior to the shutdown and this has forced Arkema to limit supply to non-regular customers and reduce operating rates at its 70,000 tonnes/year downstream dioctyl phthalate (DOP) site at Chauny, also in France.

The impact of this delay is already being felt in the European market, in which conditions are tight, particularly for 2-EH, on supply constraints and low inventories levels.

“We are receiving a tremendous amount of enquiries, especially for 2-EH,” another European oxo-alcohols producer said. “We are turning down sales [...] and inventories are going down again”.

The source at Oxochimie said: “We will mitigate the impact of this incident as much as possible”.

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By: Abache Abreu
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