03 August 2010 08:59 [Source: ICIS news]
SINGAPORE (ICIS)--BP YPC Acetyls Co (BYACO) has started test runs at its new acetic acid plant at Nanjing, China and aims to achieve commercial production in mid-September, a company source said on Tuesday.
The 500,000 tonne/year acetic acid plant in Jiangsu province was originally scheduled to come on stream in the second quarter of 2009, but was delayed by poor market conditions amid the global economic downturn.
“The plant is under test runs and we expect to achieve on-spec production a week later,” said the source.
Sinopec Yangzi Petrochemical Co would supply carbon monoxide feedstock to the plant, he added.
The plant’s output would be mainly for the domestic market, the source said, while downplaying any impact of the start-up on the prevailing supply surplus and weak market conditions.
“We have been pre-marketing with product from other affiliates, therefore the impact on the market will be zero,” he added.
Higher prices of feedstock methanol could help support acetyl values, the source said.
“From our internal perspective, methanol is on the uptrend and the fourth-quarter price is forecasted to be higher than [that of] the third quarter's, therefore acetyl prices could rise,” he said.
The fourth quarter of the year was traditionally a “good” season for the acetyls market, he added.
The two majors also have a joint acetyls complex at Chongqing in Sichuan province, China.
Operated under the name of Yangtze River Acetyls Co (Yaraco), the complex has the capacity to produce 350,000 tonnes/year of acetic acid and 80,000 tonnes/year of ethyl and butyl acetate, according to earlier ICIS reports.
Acetic acid is used as an intermediate in a wide range of products, including fibres, paints, adhesives, pharmaceuticals and printing inks.
Major acetic acid producers in Asia include Celanese Corp, Daicel Chemical Industries, Jiangsu Sopo Chemical Shareholding Co, Shanghai Wujing Chemical Co, China Petrochemical Development Corp (CPDC), Fanavaran Petrochemical Co and Gujarat Narmada Valley Fertilizers Co (GNFC).
With additional reporting by Fanny Zhang
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