INEOS declares force majeure on HDPE from Lavera, France

06 September 2012 09:35  [Source: ICIS news]

INEOS Lavera siteLONDON (ICIS)--INEOS has declared force majeure on some grades of high density polyethylene (HDPE) from its production unit in Lavera, France, the company said in a statement seen by ICIS on Thursday.

The plant suffered a fire on the extruder that led to an emergency shutdown on Friday 31 August.

INEOS was not immediately available to comment on the situation, however, the statement said the fire is now controlled, but has created extensive damage to equipment that will take weeks to repair safely.

This is the third case of force majeure to be declared in Europe in the past two weeks.

Basell Orlen Polyolefins declared force majeure on some HDPE grades from its 320,000 tonne/year plant in Plock, Poland, during the week of the 22 August, and Total Petrochemicals imposed similar restrictions on several bimodal HDPE grades from its plant in Antwerp, Belgium, only days later.

These restrictions come at a time when buyers are facing big price hikes following the €125/tonne increase in the September ethylene contract. Prices also rose in August.

Spot prices of HDPE injection have risen from €1,160/tonne ($1,468/tonne) FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe) at the end of July to €1,400/tonne FD NWE in September.

However, the polyethylene (PE) market remains fragile, in spite of these increases, and many buyers expect prices to fall back in the fourth quarter.

“Price increases are based on reduced output and low converter stocks,” said one buyer, which expected the upturn to be short-lived, adding: “Activity is really not good.”

($1 = €0.79)

By: Linda Naylor
+44 20 8652 3214

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