13 May 2008 09:04 [Source: ICIS news]
SHANGHAI (ICIS news)--Monday's earthquake in southwest China's Sichuan province has severely disrupted chemicals production and rail and road transport links in the region, producers and traders said on Tuesday.
While many producers reported no direct damage, a host of plants had been closed for safety reasons following the 7.8-magnitude quake, which had killed up to 10,000 people, with hundreds buried in two collapsed chemical plants and other buildings.
Road transport was affected in northwest Sichuan and some producers had to use ships to transport their cargoes, said some local methanol producers.
"Many railways and roads were damaged and all traffic should give relief work the priority," said another local producer.
PetroChina has halted trading in the Sichuan capital of Chengdu - which was rocked by a strong aftershock at 07:10 GMT - and closed down its southwest sales branch due to the earthquake.
A number of PVC producers in the province had also shut down operations for safety reasons, though they said their plants had not been damaged.
Meanwhile, two methanol producers had shut down operations in the neighbouring province of Shaanxi, which had been affected by the shock from the earthquake.
A source at chemicals producer Lutianhua in Sichuan said its production had not been affected.
"Our 400,000 tonne/year methanol plant is operating well but we are concerned with the transportation," the source added.
Acetic acid producers in Chongqing were also facing logistics pressures.
Chongqing Jiantao, based at the Changshou Chemical Zone in ?xml:namespace>
"We did not suffer from the shock, so our company can operate as usual now but transportation will be affected during this period," said the company source.
Another methanol producer, Sichuan Jiangyou, had shut down its 100,000 tonne/year plant for maintenance on 3 April and had not been affected by the quake.
"Our plant was under regular maintenance when the quake struck but [it] caused no impact. The restart date is not confirmed yet," said a source at the company.
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Sam Liang and Judith Wang contributed to this article.?xml:namespace>
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