LyondellBasell maintains force majeure on BD from Berre site

Author: Nel Weddle


LONDON (ICIS news)--LyondellBasell is unable to lift its declaration of force majeure on butadiene (BD) supplies from its site at Berre, France, because of constraints with the feedstock crude C4, a company source said on Wednesday.

The feedstock constraints have resulted from ongoing rate restrictions with the site’s cracker, the source said.

“We are missing crude C4.”

The source added that it was difficult to know when the force majeure would be lifted, as it was dependant on the operations of the cracker, which usually supplies the crude C4.

“We are trying to move in as much [feedstock] as we can, but this takes time,” said the source, referring to an alternative source of crude C4, which comes from the company's site at Wesseling, Germany.

LyondellBasell declared force majeure on butadiene deliveries on 15 April as a result of delays to the start-up of the extraction unit and cracker following scheduled maintenance work, which began in early March.

Production issues and strong export demand have kept European butadiene supplies very tight since the beginning of the year.

The second-quarter contract settled at €1,275/tonne ($1,656/tonne) FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe), up €325/tonne from the first quarter.

Spot prices, however, were holding steady at around €1,600/tonne FD NWE, according to global chemical market intelligence service ICIS pricing.

LyondellBasell’s BD unit at Berre has a capacity of 80,000 tonnes/year, according to the ICIS plants and projects database.

($1 = €0.77)

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