02 August 2002 04:31 [Source: ICIS news]
SINGAPORE (CNI)--Celanese is expected to resume production soon at its 500 000 tonne/year acetic acid plant in Singapore after being forced to close the facility three weeks ago due to a problem with carbon monoxide (CO) supplies, a company spokesman told CNI on Friday.
The spokesman said the company's 190 000 tonne/year vinyl acetate monomer (VAM) plant in Singapore was also forced to shut down on 12 July, as were its downstream ethyl and butyl acetate units.
The problem that cropped up was similar to the one that forced Celanese's Singapore complex to shut down for three weeks in October and November last year, namely a mechanical fault at CO supplier Singapore Syngas Pte Ltd (SSPL).
The spokesman said the problem had been identified and repairs should be completed soon, allowing Celanese to restart the plants.
Celanese's Singapore plants have been plagued by shutdowns since opening in 2000. The plants were hit in September 2000 when CO supplies were severely reduced after SSPL suffered technical problems. Celanese was forced to declare force majeur on supplies of acetic acid and VAM to Asia, a declaration that did not end until March 2001.
Celanese then shut its Singapore acetic acid plant again for about four weeks in Q2 2001 when SSPL closed down to carry out maintenance.
Meanwhile, Celanese has been sending acetic acid from it plant at Clear Lake, Texas, to help cover supply for the Singapore plant.
The Clear Lake plant was scheduled to shut down for routine maintenance this month, but it is currently running at 100%-plus to meet the extra demand and is expected to defer its turnaround until the Singapore plant is back onstream.
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