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COVID-19: impact on European ports10 Apr 2020 / ChemCourier. PVC Market Weekly / ChemCourier. Polyolefins Market Weekly / regulations


According to several international sources, most European ports are operating normally, following strict rules and safety conditions.


Port status

Additional information



All incoming ships must present a Maritime Declaration of Health (MDH), which the master must submit 24 hours before entering the port, stating whether there are any actual or suspected cases of illness on board together with a list of the last ten ports. The ship is checked for this by Saniport.

Handling at the terminals is going ahead normally, there is sufficient manpower available to deal with cargoes, and drivers are arriving and departing without too much delay.



Cargo operations and repairs are allowed on the basis of minimal contact and obligatory PPE (personal protective equipment).



The logistical supply chain is still open with no trading restrictions. Esbjerg reports challenges with storage places, as loads of goods get delivered to the port, though some ships are delayed or postponed.



Ports are still operating, most of them normally, some on a downgraded scale.



No official measure in force in respect of a compulsory quarantine for cargo vessels calling in Greece. As from 15 March and until at least 15 April, there is a temporary suspension of Greece-Italy and Greece-Albania sea connections applicable to all passenger vessels and private yachts but this measure does not apply to any sea-going cargo vessels.



All Italian ports are open to container ships and commercial vessels for the traffic of goods, whilst an international suspension of cruise ship traffic and a national suspension (or drastic reduction) of passenger traffic for Sardinia and Sicily Islands are operative.

Terminals, stevedores and logistic facilities are operating under strict rules and safety conditions to safeguard all operators, stevedores and crew members from potential exposure.



The port of Rotterdam remains operational. Cargo handling and production continues unabated. The Harbour Master Division is monitoring safety and public order on the water 24/7.

The Port of Amsterdam requests all ships entering the port to submit a Maritime Declaration of Health (MDoH), regardless of the situation on board.



Commercial vessels are allowed to enter and berth in order to perform commercial ops (load/discharge) with no delays or minor delays on account of terminals/vessels contingency plans. Health Maritime Declaration must be sent prior vessel’s arrival, at least 24 hrs in advance and with new Health Maritime Declaration sent on arrival day. At present moment there aren’t ports/terminals closed or restricted. At present moment no vessel calling under commercial calls has been refused to enter or berth in Portugal.



Ports are operating, loading and discharge of goods is ongoing. Logistic activities related to cargo vessels continue. However, personal interaction with personnel from local companies (agents, stevedores, suppliers, etc.) can have certain restrictions; all with a purpose of preventing the spread of the COVID – 19 and guaranteeing the health of local personnel and crew on board.



Ships calling at Swedish ports: Regular routines/procedures are in place and still appropriate. Also, if a ship, arriving at a Swedish port from a foreign port, is carrying or suspected of carrying an infectious disease on board, a declaration on the state of health on board (corresponding to the Maritime Declaration of Health (MDH)) shall be submitted to the relevant authorities (Swedish Coast Guard (Kustbevakningen) or the Swedish Customs (Tullverket)). Such a declaration, containing three general questions on the health status on board, is to be fulfilled in the Swedish Maritime Single Window (MSW) together with other reporting formalities for ships before entry into the port.


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Unipetrol to drop maintenance operations by 60% in Litvinov7 Apr 2020 / ChemCourier. Butadiene&C4s Weekly / ChemCourier. Styrene&Benzene Weekly / ChemCourier. Benzene Weekly / production

The Czech company Unipetrol will perform the planned maintenance despite the coronavirus outbreak. However, it has decided to reduce the scope of works by 60% during the turnaround.

The company is a part of the country's critical infrastructure, and its task is to ensure continuous fuel supply to the Czech market. Maintenance shutdowns must take place at regular four-year intervals. The previous one was in 2016, the company’s official press release says.

The facility will be non-operational from Thursday, 9 April 2020, to Sunday, 14 June 2020. The company will start phasing out equipment on 9 April and finish on 15 April to stop production altogether. All the works are due to end on 31 May and production units to come back on steam one by one afterwards.

The company announced earlier that it planned to reduce the scope of the maintenance works by 60%, the number of workers required to do them by 55% and the number of workers from abroad by 48% due to the health risks associated with the spread of COVID-19.

Unipetrol has scaled down the maintenance works that initially included 5,800 operations to about 2,300 operations essential for the next four-year production cycle. The key ones are the refurbishment of the atmospheric crude distillation unit furnace, the replacement of an underground cooling water pipeline at the partial oxidation plant and service repairs of large compressors installed on the 544,000-tpy ethylene unit.

The Litvinov refinery is a state-of-the-art and integrated refinery with high hydro-refining capacity that runs two petroleum distillation units, four conversion units and a range of process equipment aimed at improving the quality of core distillation products. Besides, the company produces petrochemical products such as benzene, ethylene, crude butadiene and others on the same site.

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Abu Dhabi to outlaw single-use plastics by 202123 Mar 2020 / ChemCourier. Polyolefins Market Weekly / regulations


The Ghadan 21 program the Abu Dhabi’s government launched in 2019 focuses on economy, knowledge and community, with the single-use plastics policy introduced in March 2020 being one of its key initiatives. It is also aimed at making Abu Dhabi free of single-use plastic bags by 2021, encouraging the utilisation of reusable bags and imposing a levy on plastics with sustainable alternatives.

The policy was developed by the Environment Agency Abu Dhabi (EAD) and implies the measures to gradually limit the use of all plastic materials in Abu Dhabi. To reach this goal, the authorities need to improve the waste management system, which will be targeted at the 16 common single-use plastics, beverage cups and lids, plastic cutlery and straws in particular. The government also intends to stimulate the use of reusable bags and distribution of the sustainable alternatives. The final step is to ban plastic usage.

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