BP Refining and Petrochemicals (BPRP) has declared force majeure on propylene (C3) supplies from its PCK Schwedt, Germany, and Nerefco Rotterdam, Netherlands refineries as per ICIS. A gas leak and resulting fire on 15 May had forced it to declare force majeure for the rest of May 2010 to its customers supplied from its PCK Schwedt fluid catalytic cracker (FCC). The FCC had been down for planned maintenance since 7 April and was due to restart around 6 May. PCK Schwedt refinery FCC has the capacity to produce 250,00 tpa of propylene.
The FCC at the Nerefco refinery produces around 150,000 tpa refinery grade propylene in Rotterdam, where a power failure by an external provider resulted in a refinery shut down over the 15-16 May weekend. However, on-spec propylene was expected from the FCC unit by the end of the week.
The propylene market in Europe has recently attained a balanced position because of unplanned derivative issues, but these new production problems will lead to considerable further tightening of the market.