Rains, flooding in China continue to disrupt chemicals output

22 July 2010 11:17  [Source: ICIS news]

SHANGHAI (ICIS news)--China’s production and transport of chemicals continue to be disrupted by torrential rains and flooding in most of the country’s provinces, industry sources said on Thursday.

Some chemical plants in southwest China, where it has been raining for several days, have shut down or cut operating rates due to safety concerns after water flowed into production facilities and disrupted feedstock supplies and cargo shipments, sources said.

A methanol producer in Guizhou province shut down its 220,000 tonne/year plant in early July as heavy rains affected its supplies of the feedstock coal, a source said.

In Chongqing, shipments on the Yangtze River were restricted due to rising water levels. Deliveries of melamine, which is mainly transported by river, have been delayed until the high water levels subside, a local melamine producer said.

Chlor-alkali companies in Fujian and Jiangxi provinces have also shut down plants and lowered operating rates as transport has been hindered by landslides and flooding caused by the rain, sources said.

Sinopec said yesterday that over 100 oil wells in Jiangsu province were inundated and will only resume operation after one or two weeks.

Flash floods, mudslides, swollen rivers and burst dikes have been reported across 27 provinces, including Guizhou, Hunan, Jiangxi, Guangdong, Guangxi and Hainan.

Provinces in central and northeast China, which seldom experience rain storms, have also been affected.

Typhoon Chanthu made landfall at Guangdong province at 13:45 local time (05:45 GMT), which is expected to bring more rains to southern China, the country’s National Meteorological Center said.

The flooding this year – the worst that China has seen since 1998 – has killed 700 people, left nearly 350 missing and destroyed 645,000 houses and 7m hectares of farmland, costing the country yuan (CNY) 142bn ($20.9bn), the Ministry of Water Resources said.

Sam Liang, Nicole Zhang and Echo Ma of CBI China contributed to this article

($1 = CNY6.78)

For more on China-based producers like Sinopec, visit ICIS company intelligence
Read John Richardson and Malini Hariharan’s Asian Chemical Connections blog
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By: Judith Wang
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