MOSCOW (MRC) -- LyondellBasell and Covestro have declared force majeure on styrene supplies from their joint venture propylene oxide-styrene monomer (POSM) plant at Maasvlakte, Netherlands, reported Chemweek with reference to a customer notification.
“We regret to inform you that on 10 February 2021, a mechanical failure caused a shutdown of our POSM plant at Maasvlakte. Investigation on the root cause is in progress,” the producers say. “As a result, we are currently unable to meet our supply obligations for styrene monomer. Accordingly, we must declare a force majeure event per our agreement for the supply of styrene monomer, effective 11 February 2021,” the notification states.
The site at Maasvlakte produces 680,000 metric tons/year of styrene and 313,000 metric tons/year of propylene oxide (PO). Market sources suggested force majeure was also declared on PO supplies, but LyondellBasell did not comment on any such declaration at the plant.
“At Maasvlakte, we have safely contained the release. Cleanup efforts are in progress. I don’t have any other updates; as it is our company policy not to comment on our communication with our customers, I cannot answer your question,” a spokesperson said on Friday.
Operator LyondellBasell started up the POSM plant in 2003. LyondellBasell and Covestro each hold a 50% share in the JV facility.
OPIS is an IHS Markit company.
As MRC wrote previously, LyondellBasell (Houston, Texas), one of the largest plastics, chemicals and refining companies in the world, reports fourth-quarter net income of USD855 million, up 40% year-over-year (YOY) from USD612 million on higher polyolefin volumes and margins. A USD147 million non-cash, lower-of-cost-or-market (LCM) inventory valuation benefit increased net income by USD119 million, or USD0.36 per share. Sales totaled USD7.937 billion, down 3.0% YOY from USD8.179 billion. Adjusted earnings per share of USD2.19 increased 15% YOY from USD1.91 and beat the consensus of USD1.31 as compiled by Zacks Investment Research.
Styrene is the main feedstock for the production of polystyrene (PS).
According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated consumption ofPS and styrene plastics totalled 520,630 tonnes in 2020, which corresponded to the same figure a year earlier. December estimated consumption of PS and styrene plastics grew by 5% year on year to 47,490 tonnes.
LyondellBasell is one of the largest plastics, chemicals and refining companies in the world. Driven by its employees around the globe, LyondellBasell produces materials and products that are key to advancing solutions to modern challenges, like enhancing food safety through lightweight and flexible packaging, protecting the purity of water supplies through stronger and more versatile pipes, improving the safety, comfort and fuel efficiency of many of the cars and trucks on the road, and ensuring the safe and effective functionality in electronics and appliances. LyondellBasell sells products into more than 100 countries and is the world's largest producer of polymer compounds and the largest licensor of polyolefin technologies. In 2020, LyondellBasell was named to Fortune Magazine's list of the "World's Most Admired Companies" for the third consecutive year.