09 May 2012 19:25 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS)--The restart of the M5000 methanol plant in Trinidad began this week, Southern Chemical Corp (SCC) said on Wednesday.
An SCC statement said the start up of the 1.9m tonne/year unit began on Tuesday, and that the plant was expected to be running at full rates by Friday.
The unit went down about 10 April for a maintenance turnaround that was expected to last three weeks. But its expected restart at the end of April was pushed back because of an unexplained delay, SCC said.
The M5000 unit is owned and operated by Methanol Holdings (Trinidad) Limited (MHTL). SCC is the North American marketer for MHTL.
SCC’s statement also said that MHTL’s four other methanol plants in Trinidad would run at 90% capacity once the M5000 plant is fully restarted, because of ongoing gas curtailments in Trinidad.
The company’s statement said SCC had no official communication on how long the curtailment would last.
But ammonia producers at the Point Lisas Industrial Estate this week said they had been notified by the state-owned natural gas utility, National Gas Co (NGC), that there would be a 20% curtailment throughout May.
Other industry observers expect the curtailment to extend beyond May. Methanex CEO Bruce Aitken said in late April that he expected the natgas curtailments there to last through the end of 2012.
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