Japan’s Pan Pacific Copper resumes sulphuric acid production

17 February 2012 09:26  [Source: ICIS news]

NAGOYA (ICIS)--Pan Pacific Copper (PPC) restarted its copper smelter and sulphuric acid plant in Saganoseki, southern Japan, early this week, slightly over a month after the unit was shut because of a fire at an electric power substation, market sources said on Friday.

The smelter and sulphuric acid unit, which produces close to 1.5m tonnes/year of sulphuric acid and was shut down unexpectedly on 7 January, restarted on 13 February – a day ahead of the scheduled restart date, source said.

Suppliers are concerned that the restart of the smelter would contribute to an oversupply situation in Japan.

Most sulphuric acid facilities are currently running at full rates, while demand, both on the domestic and export fronts, has weakened, sources said.

The PPC outage had helped balance the sulphuric acid supply-demand ratio in Japan, as other local suppliers rallied to help meet PPC’s contract commitments by arranging swaps or selling product on a spot basis.

An affiliated smelter in South Korea, LS Nikko Copper Inc, also exported approximately 35,000 tonnes on behalf of PPC to Chile and India, which resulted in better-balanced inventories for the South Korean producer in January.

By: Gabriela Wheeler
+65 6789 8828

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