23 May 2008 00:06 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS news)--Southern Chemical confirmed on Thursday that the 1.89m tonne/year M5000 methanol plant in ?xml:namespace>
"We had first production earlier today and the plant is stabilising as we ramp up to normal operating rates," said Southern Chemical, which markets the production from the plant on behalf of Methanol Holdings (
Southern Chemical had declined to comment on the plant status on Wednesday, but sources with knowledge of the plant's operations had confirmed that a restart was under way.
The news had prompted a drop in methanol prices, which were at 125.00-130.00 cents/gal FOB (free on board) USG on Thursday, down from 135-137 cents/gal before the news broke, according to data from global chemical market intelligence service ICIS pricing.
"(Southern Chemical) inventories remain adequate to meet our customer requirements, but we view the market relatively tight with limited uncommitted 'wet barrels' on the open market," the company said.
The M5000 has a history of technical problems, including an extended outage in 2006 that included failed restart attempts.
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