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Braskem's LDPE output remains limited in wake of December explosion at Triunfo

Energy Transition

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Braskem's LDPE output remains limited in wake of December explosion at Triunfo

Houston — Brazilian petrochemical giant Braskem is still dealing with limited low-density polyethylene production at its Triunfo complex more than a month after an explosion at the plant, the company said Monday.

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In addition to LDPE production remaining limited at the Rio Grande do Sul plant, Braskem does not currently have a timeline for repairing and restarting the damaged unit, the company said.

A December 4 explosion and fire at Triunfo damaged an LDPE line with a capacity of 6,000 mt/month, Braskem said at the time, adding that no other units were impacted.

Braskem's Triunfo plant has a dedicated LDPE capacity of 375,000 mt/year but the plant also has a swing line capable of producing an additional 300,000 mt/year of LDPE, according to company records.

In addition to Braskem's LDPE output being limited since early December, the South America region has seen LDPE availability further limited by production issues at Ecopetrol's Barrancabermeja, Colombia, plant and stronger demand in the US leaving less for export markets, sources have recently said.

Overall, spot pricing for imported LDPE cargoes has trended upward in early 2018 throughout South America.

S&P Global Platts most recently assessed LDPE import pricing at $1,310/mt CFR basis for both Brazil and West Coast South America, with each marker rising $60/mt (4.8%) from December 20.

--Phillipe Craig, phillipe.craig@spglobal.com
--Edited by Derek Sands, derek.sands@spglobal.com