UpdateLightning leads to LyondellBasell LDPE force majeure at Aubette

31 July 2013 12:23  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--A power outage caused by a lightning strike on 29 July has led LyondellBasell to declare force majeure on some low density polyethylene (LDPE) grades from its Aubette site in France, according to a letter sent to buyers on Wednesday.

Five LDPE grades, both with and without additives, were impacted, according to the letter.

The lightning strike occurred at an electrical power distribution station and caused a power outage in the region of Aubette, according to the statement.

Consequently the company was obliged to shut down the assets, stopping suddenly the production of ethylene and halting the supply of raw material to the polyethylene (PE) plant.

Force majeure has been declared with immediate effect, said the letter, dated the 30 July, but which several buyers only received on 31 July.

No restart date was given in the letter.

LDPE availability has been tight and producers are looking for higher prices following the €40/tonne ($53/tonne) increase in the August ethylene contract price.

LDPE was trading above €1,300/tonne free delivered (FD) northwest Europe (NWE) on a net basis, with speculative sales as high as €1,360/tonne FD NWE as sellers took advantage of the market.

Spot sales were still quiet, and most sources agreed that higher prices and tight availability were largely down to production restrictions rather than any fundamental strength in the markets.

($1 = €0.75)

By: Linda Naylor
+44 20 8652 3214

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