Arkema lifts 13-month force majeure on oxo-alcohols at Lavera

06 March 2014 10:49 Source:ICIS News

LONDON (ICIS)--France-based specialty chemicals producer Arkema has lifted the force majeure that it declared over a year ago on oxo-alcohols from the Oxochimie plant at Lavera, a company source said on Thursday.

The declaration relating to n-butanol (NBA), isobutanol (IBA) and 2-ethylhexanol (2-EH) was made on 24 January 2013, and followed problems with feedstock propylene supply after a fire at the Naphtachimie cracker at the same site.

Force majeure had been declared as a preventative measure because it was unclear how long the situation with propylene would continue.

The company source said the lifting of force majeure would have little impact on the oxo-alcohols market, because it had been able to maintain supplies at close to normal levels.

Arkema is a joint venture partner in Oxochimie, along with Switzerland-headquartered INEOS Oxide.

The Lavera complex has a nameplate capacity of 160,000 tonnes/year of NBA, 120,000 tonnes/year of 2-EH, and 20,000 tonnes/year of IBA, according to ICIS data.

Naphtachimie’s cracker started ramping up to full capacity in late January; the cracker had operated at reduced rates since December 2012.

A 50:50 joint venture between INEOS and France-headquartered Total, the Naphtachimie cracker has the capacity to produce 540,000 tonnes/year of propylene.

By Samuel Weatherlake