India's Assam Petrochemicals to restart methanol unit on 22 July

08 July 2011 05:04  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--India’s Assam Petrochemicals is planning to restart its natural gas based 33,000 tonne/year methanol plant at Guwahati in northeastern India on 22 July, a company source said on Friday.

The plant was shut on 19 June for maintenance, according to the source. It had low capacity utilisation at around 50% over the past year because of poor margins.

Half of the methanol output is used for its downstream 33,000 tonne/year formaldehyde plant, the source said. The other half is sold and transported via road tankers to its customers located as far as Bengal, Delhi, Haryana, Uttaranchal, Bihar, Nepal and Bhutan.

The company is planning a new 165,000 tonne/year methanol unit and a downstream 66,000 tonne/year acetic acid plant, which are scheduled for completion possibly in 2014.

The company’s natural gas feedstock is supplied by Oil India at market prices, the source said.

Upon the successful commissioning and completion of the new units, the company has long-term plans to build dimethyl ether (DME), biodiesel, vinyl acetate monomer (VAM) and polyvinyl alcohol (PVOH) plants, according to the company’s website.

India’s demand for methanol exceeds 1.5m tonnes/year and is estimated to grow at a rate of 10% per annum, according to a local producer.

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By: Heng Hui
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