30 November 2012 16:51 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS)--Colombia’s sole polyethylene (PE) producer Ecopetrol is delaying restart of its PE units at Barrancabermeja, a company source said on Friday.
The low density PE (LDPE) production units at the Barrancabermeja refinery have a combined capacity of 5,400 tonnes/month.
According to the initial schedule of work, only one unit should be down at this time, but unexpected technical difficulties has kept both units down for the past week.
Restart is now expected to happen during the first week of December, the source said. The initial schedule called for both plants to be running at the end of November.
The company has built up enough inventories to keep customers supplied during the outages.
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.
Demand has softened during November as transformers hold purchases while hoping for lower prices ahead.
Ecopetrol will post December LDPE prices next week. Prices are not expected to vary by much, considering that international markets have been steady of late and that the local currency has stabilised in relation to the US dollar, the source said.
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