Italy's Versalis to shut down Brindisi BD unit ahead of plan

01 August 2013 16:14  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Italy-based chemicals producer Versalis will shut down its butadiene (BD) extraction unit in Brindisi for maintenance earlier than planned for market reasons, a company source said on Thursday.

The BD unit will be taken offline next week. A routine maintenance shutdown had been scheduled to begin at the end of August, lasting until the end of October.

The company source said that current BD prices - the August contract price recently settled at €750/tonne ($1,000/tonne) - were at their lowest since the first quarter of 2009 and therefore it was uneconomical to produce.

The company source added that there are a number of derivative shutdowns during August which meant balances would be tricky to manage.

Although spot BD prices improved slightly over the past couple of weeks, they are still way below contract prices and BD producers are doing their best to avoid selling unwanted contract tonnes on the spot market.

Versalis owns and operates two BD extraction units in Italy. A 140,000 tonne/year unit in Ravenna and the 145,000 tonne/year unit in Brindisi, according to ICIS data.

($1 = €0.75)

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By: Nel Weddle
+44 20 8652 3214

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