Taiwan’s Nan Ya reiterates MA plant start-up in end-Mar/early Apr

22 February 2012 03:17  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Taiwan’s Nan Ya is keeping with its plan to start up its new 60,000 tonne/year maleic anhydride (MA) plant in Mailiao either at the end of March or in early April, a company source said on Wednesday.

There were market talks that the plant has began operations and is now producing commercial-grade MA.

“These claims are inaccurate. Nan Ya has not even entered the test run phase for the MA plant,” said the company source.

“Nan Ya is considering all options for its new MA plant. Using the MA produced to manufacture BDO [butanediol], or selling the MA on the spot market, or supplying the MA via term contracts are all options that the company is considering. There is no decision made at this point,” added the source.

Several industry sources had claimed early this week that Nan Ya has already started up its MA plant, and that the company has already successfully reconfigured its BDO plants to use MA as feedstock in place of butadiene (BD).

Nan Ya has two BDO plants in Mailiao that are currently configured to use only BD in the production of BDO, the company source said.

Its No 1 BDO plant, which has a nameplate capacity of 40,000 tonne/year, is currently shut, while its 60,000 tonne/year No 2 BDO plant is running at 50% of capacity because of poor production margins, the source said.

Due to the substantial premium that butadiene (BD) commands above MA, the latter is viewed as a far more viable source of feedstock for BDO production.

On 17 February, butadiene was assessed at $3,900-3,950/tonne (€2,964-3,002/tonne) CFR (cost and freight) NE Asia (northeast Asia), while MA was assessed at $1,600-1,660/tonne CFR SE Asia (southeast Asia), according to ICIS.

($1 = €0.76)

By: Quintella Koh
+65 6780 4372

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