25 January 2013 10:40 [Source: ICB]
Switzerland-based INEOS Oxide is managing to supply its contractual ethylene oxide (EO) and ethylene glycol (EG) customers with product from its north European sites, despite lengthy and unplanned outages at Lavera, France, a company source said.
"For contracts we manage to work with plants we have in the north," the source said. "Of course we have reduced glycol volumes significantly."
He added that some contracts are flexible, with volumes being negotiated monthly, for example, or options to offload product within a predetermined maximum and minimum.
The problems at Lavera date back to an unexpected shutdown at the Naphtachimie cracker on 22 December.
"Getting the cracker to 100% online can take many, many months. It was quite a big fire and a big part of the [cracker] unit is damaged. There may be a partial startup in the next couple of months," the source said, adding that the situation was uncertain.
The 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.
INEOS Oxide's Lavera site has a nameplate capacity of 220,000 tonnes/year for EO and 15,000 tonnes/year for EG, according to ICIS data.
INEOS Oxide also has a 420,000 tonne/year EO and 290,000 tonne/year EG plant in Antwerp, Belgium, and a 290,000 tonne/year EO and 150,000 tonne/year EG plant in Cologne, Germany.
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