EPCA ’16: Versalis eyes new supply deal from Italy cracker

03 October 2016 18:12 Source:ICIS News

BUDAPEST (ICIS)--Versalis is in talks over a potential long-term deal to supply ethylene from its cracker in Porto Marghera, Italy, CEO Daniele Ferrari said on Monday.

The Italy-based company is in talks for a three- to five-year ethylene supply contract to an unnamed party, according to Ferrari, potentially providing a market for product from the unit into the long term.

“People asking for longer-term contracts,” Ferrari said, speaking on the sidelines of the 50th annual European Petrochemicals Association (EPCA) meeting in Budapest, Hungary.

The 490,000 tonne/year unit was brought back online in February 2015 after being idled for a year to supply ethylene to Shell following the outage at the Netherlands-headquartered oil and gas major’s Moerdijk cracker.

It remained online following the restart of Shell’s unit through a supply agreement that saw tonnage from Porto Marghera exported to Asia. That supply deal, to an unnamed customer, began in October 2015 and was set to run through 2016, according to market sources

There had been talk in the market in September of the cracker continuing to run under the same or a similar deal through 2017, but that had not been confirmed by the company at that point.

Veralis is to invest in maintenance of the unit in the near future, indicating that the company sees value in keeping it operational over the next few years, according to Ferrari.

The maintenance is expected to begin in early 2017, Ferrari said, and is expected to last for four to six weeks.

The EPCA meeting runs 1-4 October.

Additional reporting by Nel Weddle

By Tom Brown