Japan’s Showa Denko operating Oita VAM plant at low rates

13 April 2012 08:17  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Japan’s Showa Denko on 11 April restarted operations at its 175,000 tonne/year vinyl acetate monomer (VAM) plant at Oita and is operating the unit at “very low” rates due to limitations in feedstock ethylene supply, a company official said on Friday.

The plant was slated to resume operations on 26 March following the completion of a planned maintenance but this was delayed in view of the temporary suspension of operations at its upstream ethylene plant at the Oita complex in late March.

The company operates a two-line ethylene plant with a total production capacity of about 695,000 tonnes/year.

“We can produce some quantity of VAM for April but we can’t confirm the production volume because of the limitation of ethylene supply,” he said.

It is not known how long the low operating rates at the VAM plant will be maintained, but there has been no need to import VAM to make up for the shortfall in output, he added.  

The VAM plant was previously operating at 80% of capacity amid slow market conditions before it was taken offline for maintenance on 17 February.

Other major VAM producers in the Asian market include US-based Celanese, China’s Sichuan Vinylon Works, Japan VAM & Poval, South Korea’s Asacco, Taiwan’s Dairen Chemical Corp and Saudi Arabia’s International Vinyl Acetate Company (IVC).

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By: Helen Lee
+65 6780 4359

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