Europe oxos and plasticizer turnaround season offsets slow demand

02 August 2012 15:47  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--The turnaround season in the European oxo-alcohols and plasticizers markets is underway, but with little effect on availability as downstream summer holiday shutdowns have led to a reduction in customer inquiries, market sources said on Thursday.

Specialty chemicals producer Arkema started a two-week maintenance at its 70,000 tonne/year dioctyl phthalate (DOP) and 90,000 tonne/year phthalic anhydride (PA) plants at Chauny in northern France on 1 August, a company source said on Thursday.

France-based Oxochimie, a joint venture between Arkema and INEOS Oxide, is to shut down its oxo-alcohols facility at Lavera in southern France in mid-October for one week, a company source said. After the shutdown, operating rates will be running at around 50% until the end of November because of an upstream cracker maintenance shutdown, also at Lavera.

The oxo-alcohols complex 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).

Elsewhere, Swedish company Perstorp’s 65,000 tonne/year dipropyl heptyl phthalate (DPHP) operations in Stenungsund, and 35,000 tonne/year PA plant in Nol, both on Sweden’s west coast, are expected to be down on 20 August for 10 days of maintenance. The company is currently building up stocks ahead of the turnarounds.

The company’s oxo-alcohols facility, at Stenungsund, will be down for 34 weeks of annual maintenance in September.

BASF’s plasticizers facility in Ludwigshafen, Germany, is scheduled for a two-week annual maintenance in September. The units have a combined capacity of 300,000 tonnes/year for all plasticizers, including DPHP, diisononyl phthalate (DINP), and dioctyl adipate (DOA), and a capacity of 100,000 tonnes/year for Hexamoll DINCH.

The company’s 450,000 tonne/year NBA and IBA complex, also at Ludwigshafen, is scheduled to be down for maintenance in mid-August for around one month.

Polynt is due to undergo a two-week maintenance shutdown at its plasticizers complex at San Giovanni Valdarno in Italy later in August, although the exact date has not been revealed. The complex, near Florence, has a combined capacity of 110,000 tonnes/year for all plasticizers including DOP, DINP, DPHP, DOA and trioctyl trimellitate (TOTM).

Polish producer ZAK was said to have successfully restarted production at its oxo-alcohols and plasticizer complex at Kedzierzyn-Kozle in southern Poland last weekend after a 40-day maintenance shutdown. However, this could not be confirmed at source. Maintenance started on 17 June. The facility 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.

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By: Abache Abreu
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