Tuntex shuts Tainan PTA unit on dearth of feedstock PX

13 February 2009 09:08  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS news)--Tuntex Petrochemical had shut its 440,000 tonne/year purified terephthalic acid (PTA) plant at Tainan in southern Taiwan last week and would likely keep the plant off line until the end of the month, company sources said on Friday.

“Due to a shortage of [feedstock paraxylene (PX)], we had no choice but to shut the plant last week,” said one of the sources.

“It’s the same problem among many of our fellow PTA producers now,” said another source.

PX supply had been tight in Asia in recent months, due to massive production cutbacks among aromatics makers between late last year and early this year.

Several PTA producers such as Yangzi Petrochemical, Yizheng Chemical Fiber Co, BP Zhuhai and Xiang Lu Petrochemical have also been forced to scale back on production due to a dearth of PX.

Tuntex last shut its plant in December 2008 and was restarted late that month. Operating rates were kept low due to technical problems.

The company had intermittently shut the unit last year for reasons ranging from tight PX supply to squeezed margins to mechanical problems.

For more on PX and PTA visit ICIS chemical intelligence
To discuss issues facing the chemical industry go to ICIS connect

By: Salmon Aidan Lee
+65 6780 4359

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