04 August 2010 10:25 [Source: ICIS news]
SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China’s state-owned Tianjin Soda Plant is on schedule to start up its new 200,000 tonne/year acetic acid plant in Tanggu district, Tianjin province, in mid-September, a company official said on Wednesday.
“We should be able to start-up commercially in mid-September and we will be targeting the export market because there will be a huge quantity of acetic acid in China from next year due to new capacities,” he said in Mandarin.
The acetic acid plant was reportedly undergoing trial runs, but the official declined to provide further details.
However, it would be difficult for Tianjin Soda - considered one of the low-cost acetic acid producers in China - to expand its export market share due to poor prices and stiff competition, according to some producers.
Domestic acetic acid prices in eastern China declined from yuan (CNY) 2,800-3,000/tonne ($414-443/tonne) ex-tank to CNY2,650-2,850/tonne ex-tank last week, a fall of about 5% from late June levels due to ample supply and sluggish derivatives demand, ICIS data showed.
Tianjin Soda Plant’s start up came in the wake of the commencement of test runs at BP YPC Acetyls Co’s 500,000 tonne/year acetic acid plant in Nanjing.
“Now, all acetic acid producers are making losses and in the long run, a market rationalisation is inevitable. It will be a survival of the fittest,” a Jiangsu-based producer said.
Acetic acid is used as an intermediate in a wide range of products including fibres, paints, adhesives, pharmaceuticals and printing inks.
Besides the acetic acid unit, Tianjin Soda's production base also includes a 500,000 tonne/year methanol plant and a 220,000 tonne/year normal butanol plant.
($1 = CNY6.77)
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