This year, a number of North American ethylene oxide producers will take their EO plants offline for scheduled maintenance. As a major feedstock, EO supply affects numerous raw materials. A short list of items this may affect is: ethylene glycol, nonylphenol ethoxylates (e.g. NP-9), alcohol ethoxylates (Tomadol or Empilan products), and several more in the soap and detergent industries.
EO producers have coordinated with each other to minimize supply disruptions and to prevent multiple plants from being offline simultaneously, however, if these plant turnarounds do not all go smoothly and keep to their schedules, price movements and product availability may be exacerbated by unreliable EO supplies. Dow, Indorama and BASF are all scheduled to go offline and return by the end of June. We urge our customers to be prepared for situations such as this until the plants are all back online.