European plasticizer players unfazed by Oxea's new DOTP plant announcement

07 December 2017 13:25 Source:ICIS News

LONDON (ICIS)--Germany's Oxea announcement regarding new capacity of plasticizer dioctyl terephthalate (DOTP) was not a big surprise for market player, sources said on Thursday.

Oxea confirmed on 1 December its intention to initially market up to 60,000 tonnes/year of DOTP by 2019, following the agreement with a German partner.

“The only surprise about Oxea was when they discontinued DOTP earlier this year" said one manufacturer.

In April 2017, Oxea said it was to phase out the production of DOTP at its Amsterdam, the Netherlands, plant.

Most were of the opinion that the market would be ready for it as much of northwest Europe depends on imported material from overseas players, or from Grupa Azoty Zak’s production in Poland.

The announcement does indeed come on the tails of news that Grupa Azoty Zak will increase nameplate capacity of DOTP by 15,000 tonnes in the third quarter of 2018.

Added to this, SIBUR has launched construction of its 100,000 tonne/year DOTP facility at Perm, Russia, which is scheduled to start in 2019, though the majority of this is expected to serve local markets.

One seller said Oxea's news "has been in the pipeline" for a while, while other sources added that players are positioning themselves in preparation for legislation expected to result in users of diisononyl phthalate (DINP) switching to DOTP.

“[It is an] inevitable conversion to phthalate-free plasticizers," added one seller.

Plasticizers are used in plastics or other materials to impart viscosity, flexibility, softness, or other properties to the finished product.

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By Jane Massingham