UpdateVinythai's new ECH unit to tighten glycerine stock, up prices

20 January 2012 08:48  [Source: ICIS news]

(adds updates from paragraph 8 onwards)

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Thailand’s Vinythai, a subsidiary of Belgium’s Solvay, is expected to start up a 100,000 tonne/year epichlorohydrin (ECH) plant at Map Ta Phut in Rayong on 23 January, a company source said on Friday.

The plant will be operated by ABT, which is a fully owned subsidiary of Vinythai, the source added.

Production at the new plant will undergo various quality control checks and a series of approval processes for about a month, the source said.

“If everything goes according to schedule, we expect to start offering by the end of February,” the source added.

Solvay’s in-house Epicerol technology, which requires glycerine as a feedstock to produce ECH, will be used at the new plant, the source said.

According to market sources, the facility will use 110,000 tonne/year of refined glycerine.

Solvay holds a 59% stake in Vinythai, while PTTGC and General Public hold a 25% and a 16% share, respectively.

News of the plant start-up has led players in the glycerine market to expect the region’s spot supply to tighten, which may boost the prices of refined glycerine, market sources said.

The prices may rise in the near term after the plant is started up because of the possible lower supply available in the spot market, according to a regular buyer in southeast Asia.

“Although [Solvay] is buying [refined glycerine] mostly on a contract basis, there will still be some impact on the spot market because its requirements are significant,” a southeast Asian trader said.

However, Solvay is expecting minimal impact on the spot market, especially in the near term, a company source said.

“We have contracted most of our glycerine demand,” said the source, who added that the company will not operate the plant at full capacity immediately after the bringing it on stream, hence its lower requirement.

Additional reporting by Wong Lei Lei

For more on epichlorohydrin, visit ICIS chemical intelligence
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By: Gabriel Yip
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