China’s Xingda Group may shut EPS plant for a month - sources

30 May 2012 10:22  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China-based Xingda Group’s 180,000 tonne/year expandable polystyrene (EPS) plant in Huizhou may remain shut for nearly one month after it was shut because of a fire at one of its two styrene monomer (SM) tanks on 28 May, market sources said on Wednesday.

A company source confirmed that the plant, named Huizhou Xingda Petrochemical Industrial, remained shut on Wednesday after Monday's accident. However, the company has not confirmed the duration of the shutdown.

The plant produces more than 10,000 tonnes of EPS resins per month and the sudden shutdown will lead to tighter supply in south China, according to market sources.

Some EPS producers have raised their operating rates to cover the supply shortage. Loyal Group has increased production at its 450,000 tonne/year EPS plant in south China from the previous rate of around 70% capacity, a company source said, without giving further details.

Taita Chemical is running its 200,000 tonne/year EPS plant in south China at around 70% capacity, a company source said. The plant was restarted on 28 May following a turnaround that started on 21 May, the source added.

As China’s EPS industry was already oversupplied, the shutdown did not affect market sentiment. Domestic general-grade EPS prices were at around yuan (CNY) 10,800/tonne ($1,703/tonne) EXW (ex-works) on 30 May, unchanged from 28 May, according to data from Chemease, an ICIS Service in China.

($1 = CNY6.34)

By: Rita Wu

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