16 August 2004 00:01 [Source: ACN]
MITSUBISHI Gas Chemical (MGC) is considering other countries besides Australia as the location for its dimethyl ether (DME) project.
The 5000 tonne/day (1.65m tonne/year) project, which was proposed in 2001, was originally planned to be built in the Burrup Peninsula, Western Australia. Work on the project was originally targeted to start in Q1 2004, with start-up at end-2006, but it has been stalled because of high costs (ACN 24 March 2003).
A company source told ACN that talks were still continuing with the Australian authorities on incentives for the project, but MGC was also considering other sites, such as the Middle East, which had rich gas resources. There was a lot of interest in building DME plants in China, but it would be difficult for MGC to export DME to Japan, he added.
MGC plans to sell the DME output as a fuel alternative to liquefied petroleum gas and diesel.
The company is pursuing the project with Itochu Corp, JGC Corp, and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.
The lack of infrastructure and high construction costs in Australia have discouraged investors from building plants there. Methanex, for example, abandoned its methanol project last year.
For the latest chemical news, data and analysis that directly impacts your business sign up for a free trial to ICIS news - the breaking online news service for the global chemical industry.
Get the facts and analysis behind the headlines from our market leading weekly magazine: sign up to a free trial to ICIS Chemical Business.
Asian Chemical Connections