30 August 1999 00:00 [Source: ACN]
Hanwha Chemical may bring onstream a new 100 000 tonne/year PVC plant 1-3 years after its ethylene dichloride (EDC) and vinyl chloride monomer (VCM) expansions start commercial production.
The Yeochon-based producer is scheduled to start up 150 000 tonne/year expansions of EDC and VCM (ACN 9 Aug, p19) in Q1 2000 and raise respective feedstock capacities to 570 000 tonne/year and 510 000 tonne/year.
Hanwha was forced to suspend work on the EDC and VCM expansions because of the economic crisis (ACN 17 May, p31).
Hanwha at present has to import 100 000 tonne/year of VCM. However, once its new VCM expansion is onstream, it will have a surplus of up to 50 000 tonne/year based on nameplate capacity.
Hanwha initially intends to run its new VCM plant at an operating rate sufficient to prevent a surplus. However, it is evaluating how it can make full use of its new VCM capacity in the long term.
One option is to add 100 000 tonne/year of new PVC capacity. This would raise Hanwha's PVC output to 535 000 tonne/year by 2001-02. Hanwha could instead acquire Hyundai Petrochemical's 200 000 tonne/ year of PVC. The Ulsan-based producer has identified PVC as non-core to its proposed merger with Samsung General Chemicals.
A third option for Hanwha is to export its surplus VCM or to sell to domestic markets.
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