Celanese delays Texas acetic acid line turnaround

09 October 2008 03:34  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS news)--Celanese will delay the planned maintenance turnaround of its acetic acid plant in Clear Lake, Texas by a few weeks to late October, according to a customer letter ICIS obtained on Wednesday.


Based on the document, the scheduled maintenance that would last through November would include replacing a reactor that was repaired last year following a force majeure (FM) at the Clear Lake facility, which is the world's largest acetic acid plant.


A Celanese spokesman would not discuss the letter, saying the company does not comment on customer communications.


Market sources in mid-September said the plant would be closed through October due to Hurricane Ike repairs and a planned month-long maintenance turnaround.


Celanese said it was implementing 100% global sales control on acetic acid and vinyl acetate monomer (VAM) from 1 October through 31 December, 2008, noting in the letter that the Clear Lake plant's outage "could impact our short-term ability to meet excess demand".


VAM is the primary downstream product for acetic acid.


However, VAM buyers in the Americas will be on 80% sales control until further notice, the company said, "due to extended downtime by our ethylene suppliers following the hurricane".


Hurricane Ike struck the Texas coast on 13 September. Though there was no major damage at the Clear Lake plant, continuing power outage and maintenance needed there required that the unit be '9157813&PrinterFriendly=true'off line for about two weeks after the storm.


The export price range for acetic acid was $700-800/tonne (€511-584/tonne) FOB (free on board) USG (US Gulf), according to global chemical intelligence service ICIS pricing. US list prices remained at 67-69 cents/lb.


($1 = €0.73)


For more on Celanese's Clear Lake, Texas, plant, visit ICIS plants and projects
For more on acetic acid and vinyl acetate monomer (VAM),  visit ICIS chemical intelligence

To discuss issues facing the chemical industry go to ICIS connect

By: Lane Kelley
+1 713 525 2653

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