17 July 2013 21:39 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS)--Dow Chemical, the sole domestic polyethylene (PE) producer in Argentina, continues to perform rolling maintenance outages during the winter to minimise the impact of natural-gas shortages that typically occur during the cold months of the year, a company source said on Wednesday.
When temperatures drop, the government reduces supply of natural gas to industrial customers to make sure that the fuel is available to households for heating purposes.
The high density PE (HDPE) plant restarted operations recently after being down for maintenance and the low-density PE (LDPE) plant, also in turnaround, is scheduled to restart on Thursday.
The LDPE plant maintenance resulted in more acute shortages because domestic production is not enough to satisfy internal demand even when the plant runs normally.
Local production of LDPE is complemented with imports from Brazil, which enter the country duty-free because of the Mercosur trade agreement.
The LLDPE plant will stop operations in a couple of weeks, completing the schedule of turnarounds, the source said.
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