17 October 2013 11:50 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--The closure of INEOS’s butadiene (BD) unit at its Grangemouth, UK, site and subsequent force majeure declaration has not yet had a significant impact on at least one customer served by the site, sources said on Thursday.
INEOS’ BD unit, which has the capacity to produce 65,000 tonnes/year, started to ramp down on 12 October alongside the rest of the units at the petrochemical complex in anticipation of strike action.
“For the time being we are still running,” a BD consumer said.
“We can run until the end of this week for sure,” it added, “but other than that we don’t know."
The consumer said it had been able to import alternative BD supplies but the uncertainty of the situation was hanging over them.
BD supply in Europe had been tightening in recent weeks because of planned turnarounds, light feed cracking and demand from Asia. Sources said a lengthy outage in Grangemouth would obviously affect the ability to source further alternative supply. Additionally, strike action could shut down the import jetty which would make discharging alternative supplies impossible. This could lead to a shutdown of the consuming unit.
“It's very difficult to put a plan in place,” the consumer said.
Other European BD suppliers said they had received extra enquiries and requests from contractual consumers for additional volumes – two said they were already "sold out".
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