Argentina's Petroken has reduced polypropylene (PP) output by 15-20% on account of diminishing feedstock deliveries from a Royal Dutch Shell refinery near Buenos Aires that is shutting down on allegations of contamination. Petroken, a 100% owned company of Basell of the Netherlands, buys 15-20% of the propylene for its 180,000tpa PP facility from Shell's Dock Sud refinery and the rest from oil refineries of Spain's Repsol YPF and smaller players in Argentina.
Earlier this week, the Environment Secretariat ordered Shell's Argentine unit to close down its 100,000 bpd Dock Sud refinery on grounds that the facility was causing contamination, lacking permits and illegally using water from rivers. Shell processes around 15% of Argentina's 660,000 bpd of crude, and is seeking to halt the closure, which if not stopped will be complete by the middle of this week. Shell is the country's second largest producer of propylene - second only to Repsol, with 30,000 tpa of installed capacity at Dock Sud.