S Korea’s Samsung BP Chem to debottleneck Ulsan acetic acid unit

01 July 2011 08:17  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--South Korea’s Samsung BP Chemicals is planning to shut its 470,000 tonne/year acetic acid unit at Ulsan for debottlenecking in mid-September, a company official said on Friday.

The debottlenecking will take around a month and will raise the unit’s capacity to 570,000-600,000 tonnes/year, the source added.

The shutdown should have a minimal impact on the market as it is a planned shutdown, according to the official.

“We will need slightly more than 30,000 tonnes/year of [additional] methanol [feedstock for the increase in acetic acid production],” said the source.

The company is looking to buy some spot acetic acid cargoes ahead of the shutdown.

Offers of August-loading acetic acid spot cargoes from China were heard at $520-540/tonne (€359-373/tonne) FOB (free on board) China, up by $20-40/tonne from July fixtures, but serious discussions have yet to begin, said market participants.

A separate company official said Samsung BP is monitoring price movements in the Chinese domestic acetic acid market.

Additional reporting by Helen Lee

($1 = €0.69)

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By: Heng Hui
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