European Ethylene Oxide Crisis Worsens

12.06.2015 -

The crisis in the European market for ethylene oxide (EO) is becoming increasingly worse.
On June 11, Ineos declared force majeure covering all of Europe for the chemical used in production of monoethylene glycol (MEG) as well as polyester polyols.
The Swiss-based group did not reveal the cause of the FM or when it might be removed, saying only that all reasonable efforts are being made to restore production.
Ineos, which claims to be Europe’s largest EO player with capacity exceeding 900,000 t/y, is the third major player in the region to declare force majeure in the past several weeks.
BASF issued a FM declaration for ethylene oxide produced at two Ludwigshafen facilities on May 19 and Sasol a week later for its plant at Marl, Germany. BASF said its 345,000 t/y unit was off line and a 500,000 t/y plant operating at reduced capacity.
Before the latest outage, reports said the EO market was already short by 35%.
Ineos had been planning to carry out maintenance on its ethylene oxide units at Antwerp, Belgium, and Dormagen, Germany, between mid-June and July and the end of August to the beginning of September, the petrochemical news service Platts said, citing a company source.