BP to restart commercial production of PTA at Decatur, Alabama, and Cooper River, South Carolina, facilities by end of next week after declaring FM on PTA April 28

LOS ANGELES , June 13, 2011 () – BP plc expects to restart commercial production of purified terephthalic acid at its facilities in Decatur, Alabama, and Cooper River, South Carolina, by the end of next week, a company source said June 9, ICIS news reported June 10.

The U.K.-based company’s Decatur plant, which has a 1.15 million tonne per year capacity, went offline April 28 after a storm caused a power outage. The Cooper River facility failed to resume operations on schedule after planned maintenance. The Cooper River facility has a capacity of 750,000-800,000 tonnes/year.

BP declared a force majeure on PTA on April 28 and imposed a supply allocation of 50% that was reduced to 25% on June 1.

On June 10, the process of restarting the Cooper River facility will begin, and the company expects it to be operational by June 13. When the Cooper River facility comes online, BP should be able to remove its 25% supply limit on U.S. PTA.

At Decatur, PTA production will be restored incrementally. The first unit is expected to come online about June 13, and then the rest of the units by the end of next week.

When BP declared FM in April, two U.S. polyethylene terephthalate producers were forced to declare FM on PET supply. PTA is the primary feedstock for PET.

Bangkok-based Indorama Ventures PCL has a 432,000-tonne/year capacity PET plant in Decatur that was also affected by the April power outage. Indorama imposed a supply allocation of 35%.

Bay St. Louis, Mississippi-based Wellman, Inc. declared FM on PET from the company’s 375,000-tonne/year plant at Pearl River, Mississippi, on June 1 and imposed a 60% allocation.

Indorama and Wellman are prepared to resume normal production capacity for PET once BP raises its allocation on PTA, market sources said.

The primary source of this article is ICIS news, Surrey, England, June 9, 2011.

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