Indorama to shut down Lithuanian PET plant for April maintenance

28 February 2013 13:19  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Indorama Ventures’ 198,000 tonne/year polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plant in Klaipeda, Lithuania, is scheduled to shut down for a month-long maintenance programme in April, a company source said on Thursday.

“April is the definitive period when Klaipeda will go down,” the source said.

The turnaround had been planned for October 2012, but a delay in the start-up of an expansion at Indorama's Rotterdam unit in the Netherlands, resulted in a delay to the Klaipeda maintenance.

Rates at Klaipeda are high at the moment to ensure stocks are in place to cover requirements during the outage, according to the source.

The new 190,000 tonne/year expansion in Rotterdam is operational and the strategy is to run it flat out.

“[The new line] PET 2 is not at its ultimate goal,” the source added.

The additional tonnes in Rotterdam will bring the total nameplate capacity to 390,000 tonnes/year. The new capacity was supposed to be operational in the second quarter of 2012.

The start-up was delayed by around five months from the original plan. A small explosion in October 2012 compounded the delay of the start-up, within what has been a bad market for producers.

UK operating rates at the 155,000 tonne/year Workington plant are still at reduced rates. The 150,000 tonne/year plant in Ottana, Italy, has also been running at lower rates this quarter.

Indorama is optimising its 140,000 tonne/year operations at Wloclawek, in Poland.

Lotte Chemical UK said last week that it will take its PET plant in Wilton, UK, down for one month at the end of February for a statutory inspection and a maintenance outage. It will be back on line before the end of March. The shutdown at the 165,000 tonne/year unit is not expected to have no impact on customers.

Lotte's new 200,000 tonne/year expansion, also at Wilton, is expected to start up in the fourth quarter of 2013. All the major vessels are on site and installed.

The European PET market is fraught with tension as producers try to maintain and improve the poor margin situation, while the dominant Asian raw material markets collapse, influencing sentiment in Europe.

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By: Caroline Murray
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