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One sixth of overall European ethylene capacity was shut in November

December 04/2020

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Through November, broadly one sixth of Europe's overall ethylene capacity was offline, according to Chemweek with reference to OPIS records.

The reduction in cracker capacity was sufficiently large to tighten the supply of ethylene and propylene, as the remaining petrochemical producers looked to maintain strong run rates in the region.

The major units that have seen reduced capacity through maintenance or operational issues included the 1.31-million metric tons/year Geleen and 940,000-metric tons/year Moerdijk crackers in the Netherlands; the 865,000-metric tons/year Wilton plant in the UK, which is partly ethane fed; the 625,000-metric tons/year Stenungsund facility in Sweden, also partly ethane fed; the 400,000-metric tons/year plant at Porvoo in Finland; and the 310,000-metric tons/year Wesseling cracker in Germany. The Porvoo plant is expecting a restart in early December.

OPIS is an IHS Markit company.

As MRC reported earlier, Borealis announces that its new naphtha cavern in Porvoo, Finland has now been safely commissioned as of October 2020. Having invested around EUR25 million in the construction of this 80,000 m3 facility, Borealis can now source and store naphtha for its Porvoo operations from the global market in a more flexible, cost-efficient, and secure way. The cavern can also accommodate renewable naphtha, making it possible for Borealis customers in future to draw on certified renewable polypropylene (PP) and polyethylene (PE), as well as renewable base chemicals, ethylene, propylene and phenol.

We remind that the light-feed 625,000-metric tons/year Borealis steam cracker at Stenungsund, Sweden, is expected to restart operations in the fourth quarter this year after a fire broke out at the plant in May, 2020. The cracker has been under force majeure ever since after the blaze at the plant on 10 May, which was subsequently brought under control the following day.

Ethylene and propylene are feedstocks for producing PE and PP.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 1,760,950 tonnes in the first ten months of 2020, up by 3% year on year. Only high density polyethylene (HDPE) and linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) shipments increased. At the same time, PP shipments to the Russian market reached 978,870 tonnes in  January-October 2020 (calculated using the formula: production minus exports plus imports minus producers' inventories as of 1 January, 2020). Supply of exclusively of PP random copolymer increased.
Author:Margaret Volkova
Tags:Europe, PP, PE, LLDPE, PP random copolymer, propylene, HDPE, ethylene, Borealis, UK, Germany, Netherlands, Russia, Finland, Sweden.
Category:General News
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