29 January 2008 05:37 [Source: ICIS news]
SINGAPORE (ICIS news)--Road transport of chemicals in central and east China ground to a halt this week as the region, ill equipped to handle snow, experienced its worst weather in over a decade, producers and traders said on Tuesday.
Affected provinces include
A lack of proper equipment to clear thick snow led to highways being closed, and congestions in the railway system hampered coal delivery to the energy-intensive
Without enough coal, local power stations could not run at full capacity, they said. Coal stocks at
Higher demand for home heating has also led the local authority to restrain industrial power consumption, the sources said.
“There is very heavy snow in eastern
Fertiliser producer Liuguo Chemical shut its 200,000 tonne/year nitrogen, phosphorous and potash (NPK) plant in
“Our factory roof-top was covered with two-metre-thick snow. As a precautionary measure, our workers dropped their usual work to clear the snow, in case it causes the roof-top to collapse,” a polyurethane foam maker in
He said that the local government also issued a directive to factories, telling them to stop operations two days a week, starting from last week. The authority did not say when normal power supply could be restored.
Many of his customers in the downstream furniture sector had also stopped their operations as they were unable to move their end-products to the ports to be exported, the foam maker said.
At Dongguan in southern
“I think power stations in this region have not been able to run at full capacity due to difficulties in delivering coal to south
However, Sinopec’s plants in the region were operated normally as they have their own power supply, company officials said.
“Road transportation is affected, but it won’t be for long,” a Sinopec official said in Mandarin.
Seasonal weak demand before the Chinese New Year in February, also softened the impact on the petrochemical market, the sources said.
Traders said the impact on the ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) market, which toned down this week ahead of the holidays, was minimal.
In the methanol market, bad weather and a shortage of coal feedstock have instead prevented prices from falling further, a producer and a seller said.
If the situation continued, methanol prices could even rebound slightly after the holidays, the seller said.
However, Yang Guiming, a weather forecaster at the National Meterological Centre, said the transport system would be back to normal on 5 February as the snow would last only for another five days.
($1 = CNY7.20)
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