Jiangsu Sopo to restart acetic acid, etac plants after shutdown

02 June 2010 13:21  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS news)--Jiangsu Sopo plans to restart its 600,000 tonne/year acetic acid plant and 270,000 tonne/year ethyl acetate (etac) plant at Zhenjiang, in China's Jiangsu province, on 3 June after an unplanned outage, a company official said on Wednesday.

The four-day outage was caused by mechanical issues at the company's upstream methanol plant, which is located at the same site and has a capacity of 500,000 tonnes/year, the official said.

“The acetic acid and downstream etac plants were shut on early Monday morning (31 May) after the methanol plant encountered production problems,” he said in Mandarin, without elaborating.

The outage resulted in about 7,000 tonnes of lost acetic acid production, based on previous operating rates of around 106% capacity, he said.

In addition, the outage served to bolster acetic acid offers to the level of yuan (CNY) 2,800/tonne ($410/tonne) ex-tank level, although supply surplus and sluggish downstream demand continued to weigh on ex-tank prices in the broader eastern China market.

“Product from Shandong remained available at a competitive CNY2,700-2,780/tonne delivered into eastern China markets,” the official said, adding that the general outlook on pricing remained pessimistic due to the prospect of several new capacities that were expected to come on stream in China in the second half of the year.

Ex-tank transactions in eastern China were down CNY100/tonne to CNY2,750-3,000/tonne ex-tank at the close of business on 28 May, according to global chemical market intelligence service ICIS pricing.

Jiangsu Sopo is one of China’s major acetic acid producers.

Other major acetic acid producers in China include Celanese, Shanghai Wujing Chemical Co, BP Yangtze River Acetyls Company Ltd (YARACO), Yankuang Cathay Coal Chemicals, Shandong Hualu-Hengsheng Chemical Co and Hebei Chung Shun Chemical Co.

($1 = CNY6.83)

For more on acetic acid visit ICIS chemical intelligence 
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By: Helen Lee
+65 6780 4359

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