13 May 2008 13:42 [Source: ICIS news]
(Updates with more detail in second paragraph)
SINGAPORE (ICIS news)--The earthquake in southwest China's Sichuan province, which has killed around 12,000 people, has severely disrupted chemicals production and transport links in the region, producers and traders said on Tuesday.
In addition to the current estimated death toll, 18,645 people were thought to be buried under debris in Mianyang in northern ?xml:namespace>
Rescue operations in the aftermath of Monday's quake were being restricted by stormy weather conditions in the region.
While many producers reported no direct damage, numerous plants had been closed for safety reasons following the 7.8-magnitude quake, with hundreds buried in two collapsed chemical plants at Shifang and other buildings.
Road and rail transport was affected in northwest
"Many railways and roads were damaged and all traffic should give relief work the priority," said another local producer.
A number of fertilizer and methanol, polyvinyl chloride (PVC) producers closed their operations there for safety and other reasons.
Local traders expect a reduction in urea output from the region, with Jiuyuan Fertilizer shutting down its 170,000 tonne/year plant and Sichuan Meifeng Chemical shutting a whole urea line.
Two methanol producers had shut down operations in the neighbouring
"Our 400,000 tonne/year methanol plant is operating well but we are concerned with the transportation," a source at chemicals producer Lutianhua in
Chongqing Jiantao, based at the Changshou Chemical Zone in
"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.
Among other chemical producers, Sichuan Jinlu, which produces 250,000 tonnes/year of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and 250,000 tonnes/year of caustic soda, and aniline producer Chongqing Changfeng closed for safety reasons.
PetroChina's polymer supply was also disrupted because of the earthquake and it halted trading in the
The Shanghai and Shenzhen Stock Exchanges announced the suspension of share trading in 66 companies affected by the disaster.
Shanghai suspended share trading in 45 companies, while Shenzhen suspended trades for 21, with Sichuan Meifeng among those affected. The extent of the damage incurred by the companies was not published to ensure equal disclosure of information by the firms.
Major acetic acid and vinyl acetate monomer (VAM) plants located in
Yangtze River Acetyls Co (Yaraco), located in Changshou county in
Yaraco is a BP and Sinopec joint venture with a 350,000 tonne/year acetic acid plant.
Tremors were also felt at Sichuan Vinylon’s 200,000 tonne/year VAM plant located at the same site but a company official confirmed that production operations were normal.
There was minimal disruption on aromatics production and trading, according to producers, traders and end-users, adding that as no aromatic plants are located in
Trading volumes for benzene, toluene and xylenes in southwest
Dolly Wu, Judith Wong, Jade Xu, Rainy Ma, Helen Lee, Serene Cheong, Lucy Craymer and Brian Myung contributed to this article
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