EPCA ’13: VAM consumer not concerned about INEOS Hull closure

06 October 2013 14:37  [Source: ICIS news]

BERLIN (ICIS)--A major European consumer of vinyl acetate monomer (VAM) said on the sidelines of the 47th annual European Petrochemical Association (EPCA) meeting on Sunday that it is not especially concerned about the planned closure of INEOS’ VAM unit in Hull, the UK.

“It’s no surprise. The timing is more surprising,” the source said, acknowledging that “there is a bit of a psychological impact.”

“Structurally the market is long and will remain long,” the source said. “I do not think there is going to be a big impact on the European market.”

The buyer said that European demand would be met by increased imports from the US and Saudi Arabia.

The source noted that any impact from the closure would be felt during a period of tighter supply in Europe.

The VAM market has been well-supplied throughout 2013, with demand from many downstream sectors being lacklustre.

INEOS Enterprises announced on Friday that it would close its Hull VAM plant with the loss of 18 jobs, saying that low-cost imports and a hostile trading environment made closure inevitable.

The date on which the plant will cease operations was not disclosed. The plant has a nameplate capacity of 300,000 tonnes/year.

The producer said that the VAM market has become increasingly targeted by cheap imports, mainly from Saudi Arabia and the US, both of which benefit from low-cost raw materials.

INEOS Enterprises acquired the plant from BP in April 2008. The unit was built in 2002 and was the first plant capable of producing 300,000 tonnes/year in a single train reactor.

The EPCA meeting runs from 5-9 October.

($1 = €0.74)

By: Samuel Weatherlake
+44 20 8652 3214

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