China’s Kingboard Chemical shuts methanol unit on gas shortage

13 December 2011 06:33  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China’s Kingboard Chemical has shut its 450,000 tonne/year methanol plant at Chongqing in southwest China for maintenance because of a shortage in feedstock natural gas, a company source said on Tuesday.

The company shut the plant on 10 December, the source said.

Kingboard Chemical did not specify the restart date for the plant, the source added.

Natural gas supply in the region is usually tight during winter as most of the material is allocated to residential areas for heating purposes. Most natural gas-based chemical producers shut their units during this season.

However, there is an oversupply of methanol in southwest China despite producers lowering the operating rates at their units in Chongqing, some traders said.

Methanol prices in southwest China were assessed at around yuan (CNY) 2,650-2,750/tonne ($416-432/tonne) EXW (ex-works) on 9 December, down by CNY50/tonne from 6 December, ICIS data showed.

($1 = CNY6.37)

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By: Rachel Qian

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