Qatar’s QAFAC ramps up production at methanol unit after restart

13 February 2012 10:46  [Source: ICIS news]

Methanol, a liquid fuel used here to charge a headset, could be blended directly into gasoline.SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Qatar Fuel Additives Co (QAFAC) is currently ramping up production at its 835,000 tonne/year natural gas-based methanol facility at Mesaieed after the unit was restarted on 10 February, a company source said on Monday.

The unit had a 21-day shutdown, added the source.

Prior to the shutdown, the plant had been producing around 990,000 tonnes/year of methanol – higher than its nameplate capacity, as QAFAC was able to source extra carbon monoxide from its fertilizer plant in Mesaieed, the source said.

Around 750,000 tonnes of methanol are earmarked for export each year, while the rest is used as feedstock for the company’s 610,000 tonne/year methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) plant at the site, the company source.

The MTBE plant is currently undergoing regular maintenance and is due to restart on March 25, the source said.

Other major methanol producers in the region include Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC), Oman Methanol Co and Iran’s National Petrochemical Co (NPC).

The three largest derivatives of methanol are formaldehyde, MTBE and acetic acid.

By: Heng Hui
+65 6780 4359

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