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Explosion, fire impact Braskem's PE production in Brazil: reports

Houston (Platts)--6 Dec 2017 546 pm EST/2246 GMT


An explosion and fire at Braskem's Triunfo complex has left the petrochemical giant with limited polymer production in Brazil, according to local reports and market sources.

Braskem said Wednesday there was an incident Monday, but did not provide additional details.

"Braskem confirms that, at about 6:50 pm on Monday, December 4, there was an operational occurrence in Triunfo. It is one of its 22 polyethylene production lines, with a capacity of 6,000 tons per month," the company said. "There was no harm to people. Our teams are evaluating the causes of the event, as well as the restart of the industrial unit in safety."

Local media reports and market sources said the incident involved one of the plant's low density polyethylene production units. The plant's other LDPE production units were not affected but were still taken offline, sources said.

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

And while production has been impacted by Monday's incident, local LDPE pricing was not expected to be impacted in the immediate aftermath, sources said, adding that demand and market activity are typically down in December.

"Frankly speaking, the Brazilian market was not demanding LDPE," a regional trader said. "Everybody was saying that the market was oversupplied on LDPE, both internally and externally. Maybe it will change now."

--Phillipe Craig, phillipe.craig@spglobal.com

--Edited by Jason Lindquist, jason.lindquist@spglobal.com




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