Russia at Risk of HDPE and Polypropylene Supply Tightening Following Stavrolen Facility Closure for Turnaround
- Journalist: Robert Hume
Russia-based Stavrolen started the sequential closure of its polyolefin facilities for turnaround in the current month. The company took off-stream its 300 KTPA capacity high-density polyethylene (HDPE) plant for an outage period of 26 days on October 12. The next shutdown followed on October 17, when the company’s polypropylene facility was temporarily closed for 24 days on account of maintenance work. The facility has the capacity to produce 120 KT of polypropylene annually.
Stavrolen is one of the leading players of Russia’s polyolefin market, contributing to the second-highest production of HDPE and being the fifth-largest producer of polypropylene in Russia.
HDPE and polypropylene are thermoplastic polymers that belong to the family of polyolefins. HDPE, composed of ethylene monomeric units is produced by thermal cracking of petroleum. It is a translucent, UV-resistant, and easily processable material that finds usage in bottles and containers, electronics, pipe systems etc. PP, produced from propylene units undergoing chain-growth polymerization, is a lightweight, flexible, and chemical-resistant plastic material. It is predominantly used in food and commodity packaging, automobile parts, textile, medical bags, and tubing.
As per ChemAnalyst, the long shutdown period of production facilities by one of Russia’s key producers is liable to create an HDPE and polypropylene supply pressure in the end-user industries. The supply-tension amid the high HDPE and polypropylene demand in the domestic markets will influence the import volumes that may increase for a temporary period resulting in the spiralling of HDPE and polypropylene prices in the domestic market.