Poland’s ZAP melamine plant back at full capacity

02 May 2012 15:46  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Zaklady Azotowe Pulawy (ZAP) is back to full capacity following partial maintenance at its 96,000 tonne/year melamine plant at Pulawy in eastern Poland, a source at the Polish fertilizer, caprolactam (capro) and melamine producer said on Wednesday.

"Within the last week [the melamine site] received 100% capacity," said the source.

"All [ZAP] plants are running at full capacity," the source added.

ZAP's 16,000 tonne/year melamine line at its 32,000 tonne/year Melamine I unit went down for planned maintenance in the middle of March.

The outage was initially expected to last for three weeks and reduce output by 1,000 tonnes.

The European melamine market is in the process of price hikes, albeit not to the extent producers had aimed for, and not enough to significantly improve margins.

"Melamine prices are unsustainable. Someone has to decrease [operating rates] or demand has to pick up… Other regions' prices are much higher than they are in Europe," said a seller.

Second-quarter European melamine contract prices rose by €30/tonne ($39/tonne) at the low end from the previous quarter, on firm feedstock costs and the need to recover lost margins. Spot prices are also creeping up, from €915–950/tonne FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe) last week, partly on the back of this, according to industry players.

Melamine is combined with formaldehyde to produce melamine resin, a durable thermosetting plastic used in heat-resistant, wipe-clean plastic laminate and melamine foam.

($1 = €0.76)

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By: Caroline Murray
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