Thai MMA eyes restart of No 1 MMA line in late August

20 July 2012 07:32  [Source: ICIS news]

BRISBANE (ICIS)--Thai MMA plans to restart its 90,000 tonne/year No 1 methyl methacrylate (MMA) line in Map Ta Phut around 22-23 August after shutting it down since 18 July amid feedstock isobutylene shortage, a company source said on Friday.

The producer had earlier postponed the shutdown from 10 July to 18 July and extended its original duration from 10-14 days to 35 days.

The company typically secures its feedstock from Bangkok Synthetics' (BST) 40,000 tonne/year C4 raffinate (isobutylene) unit in Map Ta Phut. The C4 raffinate plant, along with all the other plants of BST and its affiliate BST Elastomers, was shut on 5 May following a blast at the site. Further details on the situation are not available.

Thai MMA's No 2 line at the same site is currently running at 100% capacity after recovering from an unexpected five-day outage earlier in July, the source said.

The No 2 line is now scheduled for a 10-day maintenance shutdown in November, he 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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