EPCA ’12: Europe BD expansions bode well for US buyers

07 October 2012 14:32  [Source: ICIS news]

BUDAPEST (ICIS)--US butadiene (BD) buyers are poised to benefit from planned capacity expansions in Europe, a buyer said on Sunday, also citing new production in Brazil as a factor already helping ease global BD tightness.

European BD production is expected to increase by 16% in 2013-2015 as a result of expansions totalling around 425,000 tonnes/year announced by BASF, LyondellBasell, TVK and Italy-based producer Versalis.

Germany’s BASF announced plans in July to build a 155,000 tonne/year BD extraction plant at its site in Antwerp, Belgium, which is expected to start operations in 2014.

In the same month, Versalis confirmed that it would expand its own BD capacity by 25%, by building a 70,000 tonne/year extraction unit in Dunkirk, France.

Those announcements came after Netherlands-based LyondellBasell said in February that it would expand BD capacity at its extraction unit in Wesseling, Germany, by 40% to 238,000 tonnes/year in the fourth quarter of 2013.

Hungary-based producer TVK also said earlier this year it would build a 130,000 tonne/year BD extraction unit in Tiszaujvaros, scheduled for completion in 2014-2015.

The expansions in Europe will reduce crude C4 export availability from the region, but at the same time it will increase the amount of finished BD that can be exported to the net-short US market, the buyer said on the sidelines of the 46th annual European Petrochemical Association (EPCA) meeting in Budapest, Hungary.

A recent BD expansion by Brazil’s Braskem is already having an effect in the market, the source added.

Braskem launched production in June at a new 103,000 tonne/year BD plant at its Triunfo complex in southern Brazil, increasing the site's maximum BD supply to around 210,000 tonnes/year.

The annual EPCA meeting runs from 6-10 October.

By: William Lemos
+1 713 525 2653

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