More petchem plants could shut down in Europe − LyondellBasell

26 October 2012 20:35  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--More petrochemical plants in Europe could shut down in the upcoming years as the industry struggles with break-even margins, the chief executive of the Netherlands-based LyondellBasell said on Friday.

I think there will be some industry capacity rationalisations, but I don't think there will be anything extreme," said Jim Gallogly, chief executive of LyondellBasell.

He made his comments during an earnings conference call.

"At this point margins are basically break even," he said. "There is obviously some pain in the industry, but everybody is working hard to reduce costs and try to address the issues that way."

Earlier this week, Dow CEO Andrew Liveris also said Europe could reduce capacity in the next five years.

“What we are going to see in the next five years in Europe, is, in my belief, more shutdowns and more idlings because you can’t keep [crackers] running at the [current] slim margins,” Liveris told analysts during Dow’s third-quarter results conference call.

Dow, for its part, may re-evaluate its crackers in Europe once its Sadara petrochemicals project in Saudi Arabia comes on line, Liveris said.

Dow already plans to shut down its high density polyethylene (HDPE) plant in Tessenderlo, Belgium, part of a restructuring plan that will eliminate about 2,400 positions and close 20 plants.

By: Al Greenwood
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