S Korea’s Honam eyes EVA shutdown, capacity increase in March

19 January 2011 06:38  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--South Korea’s Honam Petrochemical is planning to shut its 100,000 tonne/year ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA)/low-density polyethylene (LDPE) swing plant at Daesan, Chungnam, in mid-March for a turnaround and debottlenecking, a company official said late on Tuesday.

The debottlenecking works, which was estimated to last 25 days to a month, would boost Honam’s EVA capacity to 100,000 tonnes/year, up from the current 70,000 tonnes/year, the official said.

The capacity expansion would boost the company’s output of higher VA-content grades to cater to the growing demand from the solar encapsulant sector, he added.

“We will focus on EVA grades with VA content of above 28% to cater to the solar encapsulant market in Korea,” he said.

The shutdown at Honam’s plant was expected to exacerbate the tight EVA supply in Asia, as a Taiwan-based plant was also due for a three-week turnaround during that period, market sources said.

The prices of the key 18% VA-content EVA were assessed as $50/tonne (€38/tonne) higher at $2,600-2,700/tonne CFR (cost & freight) China Main Port (CMP)/southeast (SE) Asia and at $2,700-2,750/tonne CFR South Asia, ICIS data showed.

Trading activities were slow in the run up to the Lunar New Year holidays in early February and most suppliers had no fresh offers for February-loading cargoes, because their stocks were low or had been completely sold out, traders said.

($1 = €0.75)

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By: Helen Lee
+65 6780 4359

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