Venezuela Metor plans August turnaround

18 April 2008 21:11  [Source: ICIS news]

(adds duration of turnaround in paragraph 2)

CARACAS (ICIS news)--Venezuela's Metanol de Oriente (Metor) will be shutting methanol production facilities for major renovation in August to facilitate the connection between the existing plant and a second one currently under construction, a company source said on Friday.

The plant will be down for an expected 45-50 days.

The methanol producer is in the midst of building a second train that will boost its production capacity to 1.6m tonnes/year from its current 750,000 tonnes/year, a source at the plant told ICIS.

"At this time, the activities are going according to plan," the source said in Spanish.

In August, the plant will be closed to replace its distribution control system and to build "tie-ins" that will allow the new plant to be connected to the existing one, the source said.

Metor's expanded production is expected to add incremental volume to traditional customers in Europe and the United States, he said. Part of its production is expected to feed the emerging biofuels sector and meet growing demand in Venezuela and neighboring countries.

According to the International Finance Corporation (IFC), about two-thirds of Metor's production will be exported, while the remaining balance will be processed in Venezuela by downstream customers to encourage the mostly oil-dependent nation to diversify its industries.

Mitsubishi Corp, Mitsubishi Gas Chemicals and Venezuela's petrochemical producer Pequiven are responsible for marketing the product.

The project will use natural gas provided by state oil company PDVSA as feedstock.

The plant should be operational by the beginning of 2010.

For more on methanol visit ICIS chemical intelligence

By: Jasmina Kelemen
+1 713 525 2653

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