Saudi Arabia Sipchem's acetic acid unit down on CO plant outage

25 August 2010 10:55  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Saudi International Petrochemical Company (Sipchem) shut its 460,000 tonne/year acetic acid plant in Jubail Industrial city in Saudi Arabia on 23 August following an outage at its carbon monoxide (CO) unit, a company official said on Wednesday.

“The CO plant was shut on Monday due to problems with the reformer and the acetic acid unit had to be shut as well,” the official said.

The acetic acid unit was operating at full capacity prior to the outage, he added.

“Repairs are expected to last two weeks so the plants should come back on stream in the beginning of September,” he said, pegging the acetic acid output loss at 19,000 tonnes.

The company had “significant acetic acid cargoes going to Europe and India,” but its adequate storage facilities in Europe meant that it could reschedule shipments to that region if necessary, the official noted.

“There will be some impact somewhere but the logical thing will be to reduce volumes to Europe,” he added.

Sipchem’s acetic acid plant started up in late November 2009.

Meanwhile, the company’s 330,000 tonne/year downstream vinyl acetate monomer (VAM) plant, located at the same site, was operating normally due to full acetic acid inventories, he added.

Half of the output from Sipchem’s acetic acid plant is utilised in the production of VAM. The remaining acetic acid is sold in local and international markets. 

Major acetic acid producers in Asia include Celanese, BP, Daicel Chemical Industries, Shanghai Wujing and Fanavaran Petrochemical Co.

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By: Helen Lee
+65 6780 4359



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