Japan's Maruzen Petrochemical achieves on-spec MEK production

20 April 2012 08:34  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Japan's Maruzen Petrochemical achieved on-spec production at its 170,000 tonne/year methyl ethyl ketone (MEK) plant in Chiba at the end of last week, a source close to the company said on Friday without giving a date.

The current operating rates at the unit are unavailable but the source said production is likely to be low, given that the plant has only resumed operations on 5 April after more than a year of outage.

The plant was shut for repair in the aftermath of the 11 March earthquake in 2012.

Maruzen is expected to begin supplying domestic customers at the end of May, market sources said.

“Exports may start at about the same time or in early June but the quantities will be limited,’’ an Asian distributor said.

The producer will likely have minimal volumes to export in the initial months of operations as a six-week turnaround at a 520,000 tonne/year affiliate cracker will limit its supply of feedstock butene, according to market sources.

By: Yeow Pei Lin

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