26 March 2007 08:07 [Source: ICIS news]
SINGAPORE (ICIS news)--Asahi Kasei Chemicals is conducting a preliminary study to build a 200,000-250,000 tonne/year acrylonitrile (ACN) plant in Saudi Arabia to strengthen the company’s international competitiveness, a company spokesman has said on Monday.
The project could start commercial operation in 2012 or 2013 and the company was mulling using a propane-based method to maximise capacity, the spokesman said.
Asahi wants to use Saudi Arabia for its cost competitive feedstock in a bid to compete with UK-based Ineos, the world’s largest producer of ACN.
The spokesman refused to comment on possible joint venture partners in Saudi Arabia.
The Japanese company has already formed a joint venture with Thailand's oil major PTT, to build a 200,000 tonne/year propane-based ACN plant that is expected to come on stream in 2009.
Shiro Hiruta, the company’s president, said in a recent interview that demand for ACN will grow by about 5%/year in Asia and 2%/year globally on the back of strong demand from acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS).
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