Shell’s FM on styrene remains after leakage at Ellba, Moerdijk plant

28 November 2012 12:39  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Following an unforeseen steam leakage at the Ellba propylene oxide/styrene monomer (PO/SM) plant in Moerdijk, the Netherlands, a joint venture between Shell Chemicals and Germany-based major BASF, the force majeure declared on styrene earlier this month remains in place, Shell said on Wednesday.

Repair work on Shell's other PO/SM plant in Moerdijk, which went down on 5 November, has been completed as planned, the company said.

“Due to the issues at the MSPO-2 [Ellba] unit we currently do not see the need to change the allocation for the month of November and if repairs and start up of MSPO-2 is successful we expect to be able lift the force majeure by the end of the month,” Shell added.

Spot prices in the European styrene market have edged up this week, partially driven by some emerging supply concerns stemming from the force majeure but also supported by firming benzene levels, as players look to recover some margin with the feedstock.

Offers for December delivery were heard at $1,595/tonne (€1,228/tonne) this morning, and there was a deal later done at $1,575/tonne. January was in contango at $1,610/tonne and no firm bids.

The Shell Chemicals Moerdijk plant has the capacity to produce 440,000 tonnes of styrene annually, while the Ellba joint venture with BASF has the capacity to produce 550,000 tonnes of styrene annually, according to ICIS data.

($1 = €0.77)

By: Truong Mellor
+44 208 652 3214

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