Thai MMA likely to shut No 1 unit in late June on feedstock shortage

15 June 2012 11:26  [Source: ICIS news]

BRISBANE (ICIS)--Thai MMA is likely to shut its 90,000 tonne/year No 1 methyl methacrylate (MMA) line at Map Ta Phut in late June for 10-14 days as it is unable to procure sufficient feedstock isobutylene, a company source said on Friday.

The line is likely to be restarted in the middle of July, after which it would be operated at 60-70% of capacity, he added.

Thai MMA’s raw material supply was disrupted as a result of a forced shutdown at its supplier Bangkok Synthetics (BST)’s 40,000 tonne/year C4 raffinate (isobutylene) unit in Map Ta Phut.

The unit was shut along with all the other plants of BST and its affiliate BST Elastomers following a blast at the site on 5 May that prompted a force majeure declaration.

The plant’s No 1 line is currently running at 60-70% of capacity after it was restarted on 5 June, while its No 2 line is currently operating at full tilt, the source added.

Thai MMA is a joint venture between Japan’s Mitsubishi Rayon Corp (MRC) and Thailand’s Siam Cement Group.

MMA is produced using a two-stage gas-phase oxidation of isobutylene to methacrylic acid, followed by esterification.

By: Junie Lin

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