Taiwan's CMMFC aims to produce bio-based EO/MEG from June

29 May 2012 07:50  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Taiwan’s China Man-Made Fiber Corp (CMMFC) plans to change the feedstock for its monoethylene glycol (MEG) production to bio-based ethylene from the current naphtha-based ethylene in June, a company source said on Tuesday.

Its two 75,000 tonne/year MEG plants at Kaohsiung will be shut for one to two days in June to be connected to the new feedstock supply once its upstream bio-based ethylene plant at the same site achieves on-spec and stable operations, the source said.

“The 100,000 tonne/year bio-based ethylene plant started trial runs in late May,” the source said, adding that the company aims to achieve on-spec production within a month.

The start-up schedule of the ethylene plant is three months behind the company’s original February schedule, the source said, without specifying the reason for the delay.

The production cost is much higher than that of naphtha-based ethylene following recent sharp falls in naphtha prices, the source said. He did not provide the exact cost of bio-based ethylene.

However, a Japan-based ethylene trader said demand remains limited for such a new technology. “Ethylene production will mainly still come from cracking naphtha or ethane,” the trader said.

The company source said CMMFC will also produce bio-based ethylene oxide (EO) and its derivatives for the application in personal-care products. “These personal-care products will be fully bio-based and will be charged at premiums to normal products,” the source said.

CMMFC, together with another local producer Nan Ya Plastics, owns an MEG facility at Mailiao in eastern Taiwan with an output of 300,000 tonnes/year.

With additional reporting by Soohwee Peh

By: Becky Zhang
+65 6780 4359

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