Taiwan’s TASCO shuts down IPA plant for debottlenecking

21 October 2010 06:55  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Taiwan's TASCO shut down its 20,000 tonne/year isopropanol (IPA) unit in Kaohsiung on 20 October for a week-long turnaround and expansion, a company source said on Thursday.

Following the debottlenecking, the plant’s capacity would be increased to 30,000 tonnes/year, the source added.

TASCO had earlier planned to restart the IPA line in mid-November but had shortened the turnaround period due to ongoing supply shortages, the source said, adding that the plant would resume operations next week.

“We have no spot cargoes to offer as the inventories are running low. Prices could see close to $50/tonne (€36/tonne) gains for November due to spiralling raw material values,” the source said.

Inventories were low as the plant had been taken off line in September following heavy floods caused by Typhoon Fanapi, he added.

The turnaround at TASCO would exacerbate the existing IPA supply woes in the region, market sources said. 

IPA supply could remain tight through October and November in view of the plant shutdowns in the region even as buyers struggled to replenish dwindling stocks, they added.

IPA spot prices were last assessed $10-40/tonne firmer in the week ending 15 October, at $1,240-1,260/tonne CFR (cost & freight) northeast Asia and up by $20-30/tonne to $1,180-1,200/tonne CFR southeast Asia, ICIS data showed.

Other IPA producers in Asia include L G Chem, Isu Chemical, Nippon Oil, Tokuyama and Mitsui Chemicals.  

($1 = €0.72)

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By: Saru Thukral
+44 208652 3214

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