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Sasol-Huntsman lifted the force majeure declaration on maleic anhydride

May 16/2011

(ICIS) -- Sasol-Huntsman has lifted the force majeure declaration at its maleic anhydride (MA) plant in Moers, Germany, a company source said on Friday. The force majeure was enacted on 4 March 2011 because of technical problems associated with the start-up of the facilitys new 45 KTa reactor. It was lifted on 30 April and the extra capacity is now online, giving a new nameplate capacity of 105 KTa.

The European MA market has been in tight supply since the fourth quarter of 2009, because of the closure of BASFs 115 KTa MA plant in Feluy, Belgium.

Despite the lifting of Sasol-Huntsmans force majeure, MA availability remains low because of limited stock levels and high demand, sources said.

Spot prices are at record levels of EUR 1.800-2.000/tonne (USD 2.571-2.857/tonne) for liquid and flake. Liquid spot prices have been at historic highs for 10 weeks, and solid spot prices for six weeks. At the time, the spot price increases were attributed to the Sasol-Huntsman force majeure.

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