02 October 2013 23:00 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS) -- Colombia’s sole polyethylene (PE) producer, Ecopetrol, has stopped its two low density polyethylene (LDPE) production units for maintenance, but one of those will restart in three days, according to a company source on Wednesday.
The low density polyethylene (LDPE) production units at the Barrancabermeja refinery have a combined capacity of 5,400 tonnes/month.
The 3,620 tonne/month Poly-2 unit has been down for 15 days and it will remain stopped until November, the source said.
The 1,780 tonne/month Poly-1 unit was stopped on 1 October and is scheduled to restart in about three days.
The company is supplying customers from existing inventories and claims that there will be no PE shortages, because stocks on hand could keep the market supplied for about 60 days.
Ecopetrol complements its LDPE production with imports, also buying PE grades not produced locally.
Other products entering Colombia are sourced from Asia, the US Gulf and Brazil.
Although demand is steady, buyers are currently buying minimal volumes because of expectations of lower prices ahead, the source said.
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