07 March 2005 11:10 [Source: ICIS news]
SINGAPORE (CNI)--Indonesia’s Pertamina restarted its 225,000 tonne/year purified terephthalic acid (PTA) plant in Plaju, south Sumatra, over the weekend after shutting it since mid-September last year, a source close to the company told CNI on Monday.
The shutdown was due to a lack of acetic acid feedstock. Poor PTA margins at the time, due to rising para-xylene costs, also prompted the company to shut the PTA unit.
Between September and February, the company sold through several tenders the paraxylene (PX) supplies meant for the PTA unit and managed to reap a handsome profit, given escalating PX prices in the past few months.
PX have risen to a high of $990-1,000/tonne CFR Southeast Asia at end-February from $880-890/tonne CFR Southeast Asia in September 2004. PTA prices were pegged around $880-890/tonne CFR China at end-February from $800-810/tonne CFR China in September 2004.
According to the source, Pertamina has managed to secure at least two lots of acetic acid in the past month, paving way for the PTA plant restart.
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