US MA producer schedules two-week outage for May

12 April 2011 22:39  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US maleic anhydride (MA) producer Ashland is planning a two-week turnaround in May at its West Virginia plant, a company source said on Tuesday.

The plant in Neal, West Virginia, will undergo the planned maintenance in the middle of May, the source said.

The facility has a listed capacity of 45,000 tonnes/year, according to ICIS plants and projects.

Another MA producer recently emerged from a turnaround at the end of March.

Sources said this series of production events has tightened US MA supply.

One producer said demand continues to be healthy in all domestic sectors and in the export market, particularly for Europe, where supply also is tight.

Sasol-Huntsman’s 60,000 tonne/year plant in Moers, Germany, has been under force majeure (FM) since 4 March.

Sasol-Huntsman’s new 45,000 tonne/year reactor was scheduled to go on line in January 2011 to expand the plant’s capacity, but a series of technical problems has caused delays, culminating in the FM. 

US April MA prices are at 83.20–89.20 cents/lb ($1,834–1,967/tonne, €1,265-1,357/tonne) FOB (free on board) US Gulf for molten material, as assessed by ICIS.

US MA exports also were on the rise, up 25% in February from the same time a year ago, according to the US International Trade Commission (ITC).

($1 = €0.69)

Paul Hodges studies key influencers shaping the chemical industry in Chemicals and the Economy
For more on maleic anhydride visit ICIS chemical intelligence

By: Ruth Liao
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