25 January 2011 07:06 [Source: ICIS news]
SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Japan’s Mitsubishi Gas Chemical (MGC) will soon shut its No 2 and No 3 purified isophthalic acid (PIA) plants in Japan for maintenance works, a company source said on Tuesday.
The producer would begin a two-week turnaround at its 70,000 tonne/year No 2 PIA plant at Mizushima in February, after experiencing some issues due to a recent power outage, said the source.
MGC would later in April conduct maintenance works at its 100,000 tonne/year No 3 plant in Matsuyama, Ehime prefecture, the source added.
“MGC is going to have to shut down the plants right in the middle of [the] high demand season of PET bottle resins,” he said, adding the shutdowns had not been planned prior to the outage.
Meanwhile, the company has no immediate plans to restart its 50,000 tonne/year No 1 PIA line in Mizushima, which had been mothballed since December 2008, because of poor margins, according to the source.
The unplanned turnarounds at its two plants would add further pressure to the market, which is currently strained by surging raw material costs and tight supply, the source said.
MGC has announced a $200/tonne (€146/tonne) hike in its PIA prices effective 1 February because of these factors, the source added.
The recent uptrend in the feedstock mixed xylenes market has exerted strong upward pressure on PIA prices, according to the source.
In addition, US-based Flint Hills Resources’ decision to cease production at its PIA facilities in Belgium by May this year would weigh on the supply in Asia, as exports have diminished, the source added.
A recent shutdown at Beijing Yanshan Petrochemical’s 50,000 tonne/year facility in China could also exacerbate the tight supply situation, the source said.
($1 = €0.73)
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