01 November 2012 17:37 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS)--Colombia’s sole polyethylene (PE) producer, Ecopetrol, is stopping its PE units at Barrancabermeja in November for preventive maintenance, a company source said on Thursday.
The low density PE (LDPE) production units at the Barrancabermeja refinery have a combined capacity of 5,400 tonnes/month.
The 1,780 tonne/month Poly-1 unit is being stopped on 1 November for 15 days. The 3,620 tonne/month Poly-2 unit will stop when the Poly-1 unit resumes operations, and that procedure is also scheduled to last 15 days.
The company has built enough inventories to keep customers supplied during the outages.
By staging the procedures, there will always be one plant producing normally, the source said.
In addition, Ecopetrol imports plastic resins from the US Gulf and also from Asian suppliers, with emphasis on the grades that are not produced locally.
Colombia has zero tariffs for PE imports at this time. This situation will extend at least one more year, and it can be renewed for a longer period, if local authorities approve such a measure, the source said.
The maintenance to the PE units is part of a larger schedule of maintenance at the refining complex.
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