LONDON (ICIS)--INEOS Oxide’s ethylene oxide (EO) and derivatives site in France is shut down due to a lack of upstream ethylene caused by the transport strikes in France, a company source said on Friday.
“Our EO and derivatives units are down due to the fact that the crackers on the Lavera platform are down due to the strike, so there is no ethylene available to run our derivatives and EO units,” the source said.
Derivatives at the Lavera site include ethylene glycol (EG), ethanolamines and glycol ethers, and production was stopped on Thursday.
“Our plant is down but there is no impact on product availability. We have sufficient stocks to supply our contract customers,” the source said, adding that EG spot supply would be reduced.
The biggest impact of the strikes and from the problems at Shell in the Netherlands, seems to be on EO.
While many larger customers are set up by pipeline, smaller customers spread over Europe rely on trains.
“There is also a big transport of EO from coproducers to each other that goes by train,” a second EO producer said.
Adding to the pressure is a planned rail strike for next Tuesday and Wednesday in Belgium, according to sources.
INEOS Oxide’s Antwerp site in Belgium is in the process of restarting over the weekend of 28-29 May, after a month-long turnaround.
“The strike is for passenger transport more, but there will be a knock-on effect on goods transport…We may see some delays but we plan for business as usual,” the INEOS Oxide source said.
The INEOS Oxide Lavera unit has a nameplate capacity of 250,000 tonnes/year for EO, according to ICIS data. Downstream EG capacity totals 15,000 tonnes/year.
Capacity for the ethanolamines plant is 53,000 tonnes/year, according to ICIS plants and projects database. Glycol ethers nameplate capacity totals 160,000 tonnes/year at Lavera.
INEOS Oxide in Antwerp has a total nameplate capacity of 420,000 tonnes/year EO and 290,000 tonnes/year EG.
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