Price and market trends: Petroquimica Suape's Brazil PET plant start-up delayed to Q2

21 April 2014 00:00 Source:ICIS Chemical Business

Petroquimica Suape’s planned startup of operations of its new polyethylene terephthalate (PET) production facilities in Brazil has been delayed until the end of the second quarter, a company spokesperson said on 8 April.

The company had planned to start the first of its two new 225,000 tonne/year PET lines early this year, around January, but the start of commercial production of that plant is now not expected until the end of Q2 because of mechanical difficulties, said company spokesperson Sonny Hansen.

The second 225,000 tonne/year line will still be opened about “five to six months later”, Hansen said.

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The gap is needed to work on patents, licenses and approvals, the spokesperson said.

The mechanical problem is related to not reaching the standards that the company wanted in the initial trial runs, a source close to the situation said. Work during the delay involves sourcing pieces of machinery and assembling them to reach the standards, it added.

The startup of production at Petroquimica Suape will be the most significant change in the Latin American PET market in several months and has the potential to lower prices in the region.

The new output, added to PET production from existing facilities in Brazil, will result in excess capacity in Brazil, which will lead to product needing to be exported to nearby countries where it will compete with normally cheaper Asian product.

Petroquimica Suape is wholly owned by Petroquisa, the chemical division of Brazil state-controlled energy giant Petrobras.

By Renzo Pipoli