INEOS Oxide declares oxo-alcohols force majeure at Lavera, France

09 May 2012 15:34  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--INEOS Oxide has declared force majeure on oxo-alcohols production at its joint-venture facility in Lavera, France, on the Mediterranean coast, a company source said on Wednesday.

The declaration was made on 4 May, a few days after technical problems forced Oxochimie, a joint venture between France-based Arkema and Switzerland-headquartered INEOS Oxide, to stop oxo-alcohols production at the site.

The complex, which has a nameplate capacity of 150,000 tonnes/year of 2-ethylhexanol (2-EH), 150,000 tonnes/year of n-butanol (NBA) and 30,000 tonnes/year of isobutanol (IBA), had recently come back on stream after a five-week, five-yearly maintenance shutdown.

The source at INEOS Oxide said the company was aiming to restart production at the site either this week or next week. Arkema was not available for comment.

A previous technical incident had been reported at the site, forcing Oxochimie to postpone the restart of the oxo-alcohols facility by about 12 days. The units were restarted at the beginnng of week ending on 27 April.

The shutdown of Oxochimie’s facility has exerted further pressure on the already-tight European oxo-alcohols market, in which low inventories and supply constraints are limiting availability for spot trade. The market is particularly tight for 2-EH.

Meanwhile, minor production problems at OXEA’s oxo-alcohols complex in Oberhausen, Germany, have now been resolved and the company aims to build inventories ahead of a 10-day maintenance later in May. The complex includes a 300,000 tonne/year 2-EH unit, a 130,000 tonne/year NBA plant and a 10,000 tonne/year IBA unit.

ZAK is to shut down its oxo-alcohols complex on 17 June for 40 days of maintenance. The facility, at Kedzierzyn-Kozle in southern Poland, has a nameplate capacity of 132,000 tonnes/year of 2-EH, 36,000 tonnes/year of NBA and 24,000 tonnes/year of IBA.

Perstorp’s oxo-alcohols unit in Stenungsund, on Sweden’s west coast, will be shut down for four weeks of maintenance in September. The complex, which includes a 90,000 tonne/year NBA unit and a 120,000 tonne/year 2-EH unit, is running normally, but 2-EH supply is on allocation because of low inventories.

BASF is planning to begin a maintenance shutdown at its 450,000 tonne/year butanol facility at Ludwigshafen, Germany, in August or September. The exact date is yet to be set.

($1 = €0.77)

For more on oxo-alcohols, visit ICIS chemical intelligence

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By: Abache Abreu
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