IVC to restart Saudi VAM plant in mid-October

10 October 2011 09:14  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--International Vinyl Acetate Company (IVC) is planning to restart the operations at its 330,000 tonne/year vinyl acetate monomer (VAM) plant at Jubail Industrial City in Saudi Arabia in the middle of October as planned, a company source said on Monday.

The company shut the plant for two weeks of scheduled maintenance, the source said.

“We are planning to restart the plant by around the end of this week,” the source added.

The producer originally scheduled to shut the plant for a turnaround in August, but delayed it to maximise the lifespan of the plant’s catalyst.

 The restart at the plant is expected to dampen Asia’s buying interest as recent turnarounds at several VAM plants failed to stimulate demand.

VAM spot prices in the key China market are hovering at seven-month lows at below $1,100/tonne (€825/tonne) CFR (cost & freight) China Main Port (CMP).

The prices fell before the country’s National Day holiday from 1 to 7 October after losing around 15% in value from highs in April, amid weak demand and the start-up of a unit in China.

“There will be no surprise in the fourth quarter of this year,” the source said.

“The market will remain weak unless there is considerable change in ethylene and acetic acid feedstock prices,” the source added.

IVC is a joint venture between Saudi Arabia’s Sipchem and Germany-based Helm.

Key VAM producers in the Asia include Taiwan’s Dairen Chemical Corp (DCC), Asia Acetyls (Asacco), China’s Sichuan Vinylon Works, US-based Celanese and Japan VAM & Poval.

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By: Helen Lee
+65 6780 4359

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