23 September 2011 09:18 [Source: ICIS news]
SHANGHAI (ICIS)--Taiwan’s Formosa Plastics plans to start up the 72,000 tonnes/year of the first phase of its ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) plant at Ningbo, east China, in the third quarter of 2013, a company official said on Friday.
“Foundation and construction works for the first phase started on 20 July this year and the project is due for completion in June 2013,” the official said on the sidelines of the 2011 Asia Solar Cell Encapsulant Material Marketing & Technology Summit held in Shanghai, China, on 22-23 September 2011.
Formosa expects to begin commercial production of EVA by the third quarter of 2013, the official added.
The company will have to rely on imported ethylene feedstock for the first phase of the EVA project, according to the official.
The Ningbo plant will mainly produce EVA with a high vinyl acetate (VA) content of above 26% and high melt-index grades. The plant’s output can be used for the production of hot melt adhesives and solar cell encapsulant film applications to cater to the growing demand from the photovoltaic sector, which is one of the world’s fasting growing industries.
“Although the solar panel industry is slowing down now because of the eurozone debt crisis, the medium-to-long-term outlook is still very positive,” the official said.
The annual demand in Asia for EVA solar cell encapsulant film is expected to grow by around 17% year on year to 133,000 tonnes by the end of 2011. By 2014, annual demand is projected to grow by around 79% to 238,000 tonnes from the level seen in 2011, the official said.
Formosa plans to raise its annual capacity of high VA-content EVA in Ningbo to 200,000 tonnes in the second phase of the plant, which is now pending environmental approvals from the Chinese government, the official said.
The company plans to complete the second phase at the end of 2015 and start it up in 2016, according to the official.
Major EVA producers in Asia include Taiwan’s Formosa Plastics and USI Far East, South Korea’s Hanwha Chemical, Honam Petrochemical and Samsung Total, Japan’s Sumitomo Chemical, Mitsui Dupont Polychemicals, China’s YPC-BASF, Beijing Organics and DuPont Packaging & Industrial Polymers, Singapore's The Polyolefins Co (TPC) and Thailand’s TPI Polene.
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