Methanex methanol plant in Damietta, Egypt, running at full rates

13 December 2011 15:51  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Methanex’s 1.3m tonne/year methanol plant in Damietta, Egypt, is up and running at full rates following its unplanned closure on 13 November, a source with the company said on Tuesday.

The facility was taken offline in response to unrelated protests in the area which also resulted in the closure of the Damietta port. The protests were directed at Egyptian state firm Misr Oil Processing (MOPCO), which co-owns a local fertilizer plant with Canada-based firm Agrium.

Methanex, also Canada-based, cited the safety of its staff as the reason for the closure. Workers returned to the site two-to-three weeks ago and the plant reached production again on 4 December, the source said.

The closure was initially responsible for a €17–19/tonne ($23–25/tonne) hike in European methanol spot prices, peaking at €275/tonne FOB (free on board) Rotterdam for prompt material.

Some market sources have suggested that, despite the plant having restarted, prices will be supported at these higher levels until the contract price for the first quarter of 2012 has been settled.

($1 = €0.76)

By: Ross Yeo
+44 208 652 3214

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