Petronas denies problems with MTBE Malaysia plant

31 March 2003 08:12  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (CNI)--Malaysia's state-owned Petronas has denied a report that MTBE Malaysia has shut down its 300 000 tonne/year propane dehydrogenation (PDH) plant at Gebeng, Kuantan, due to mechanical problems.

Last Friday (28 March) CNI quoted a well informed industry source as saying that the shutdown of the plant, owned by Petronas, was likely to last 2-3 weeks.

However, Petronas issued a statement on Monday (31 March) saying its plant had not experienced a shutdown due to mechanical problem or otherwise. It added the plant was currently up and running. When contacted last Friday, neither Petronas nor BASF were immediately available for comment.

The industry source was quoted earlier by CNI as saying that as a result of the shutdown, BASF Petronas, which offtakes propylene for its oxo-alcohols and acrylates plants in Malaysia from MTBE Malaysia, was in the market for two spot cargoes of C3s. The source added BASF was in discussions with Sabic for one of these cargoes.

BASF Petronas’ Kuantan project comprises 12 plants producing acrylic monomers, oxo products and butanediol (BDO) built in three phases with a combined capacity of more than 1m tonne/year. Two of the phases have already come onstream.

Phase one came onstream in July 2000 and has the capacity to produce 160 000 tonne/year crude acrylic acid, 100 000 tonne/year butylacrylate, 60 000 tonne/year 2-ethylhexylacrylate and 20 000 tonne/year glacial acrylic acid.

The second phase, the oxo/syngas complex, became operational in April 2001. It comprises five plants which produce 160 000 tonne/year of butanols, 100 000 tonne/year of plasticisers, 80 000 tonne/year of 2-ethylhexanol (2EH), 50 000 tonne/year of butyl acetate and 40 000 tonne/year of phthalic acid anhydride.


By: James Dallmeyer
+65 6780 4359

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