INEOS shuts down Lavera EO unit on cracker problems

10 January 2013 11:21  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Switzerland-based INEOS has halted production at its ethylene oxide (EO) unit in Lavera, France, owing to the disruption of feedstock ethylene production at the site’s Naphtachimie cracker, a company source said on Thursday.

An INEOS spokesman said last week that the Naphtachimie cracker had experienced a technical issue on the afternoon of 22 December which affected one of the main compressors, leading to a complete shutdown of the facility.

The Naphtachimie cracker, which has a nameplate capacity of 120,000 tonnes/year of butadiene, 775,000 tonnes/year of ethylene and 540,000 tonnes/year of propylene, is joint-owned by INEOS and Total.

There were no casualties or environmental impact, the spokesman said, but a “range of products manufactured at the facility could be impacted for up to four weeks.”

The Lavera site has a nameplate capacity of 220,000 tonnes/year for EO and 15,000 tonnes/year for ethylene glycol (EG), according to ICIS data.

The company source said that 30% of INEOS’ European EO production capacity was down, meaning that it had to be very careful in managing its inventories.

"So far we manage but of course it makes the molecule very very short and we manage very carefully. Of course this reduces our availability of [downstream] EG," the source added.


Caroline Murray contributed to this story

By: Samuel Weatherlake
+44 20 8652 3214

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