China’s Jiangsu Sopo runs Zhenjiang etac plant at low rate

03 August 2012 02:57  [Source: ICIS news]

MELBOURNE (ICIS)--China's Jiangsu Sopo Chemical is running its 500,000 tonne/year ethyl acetate (etac) plant at Zhenjiang in Jiangsu province at no higher than 50% capacity, a company official said on Friday.

The company is unable to increase its etac output following a 26 July restart because of tight supply of acetic acid and ethanol, the official said.

Jiangsu Sopo operates three acetic acid plants with a combined capacity of 1.2m tonnes/year as well as a 500,000 tonne/year methanol unit at the same Zhenjiang site.

While its acetic acid supply is integrated, it has to purchase co-feedstock ethanol from other producers.

“We are keeping our acetic acid output at a reduced level because of weak margins,” said the official.

“Supply of ethanol has also tightened because several plants have cut output in recent weeks [for the same reason of compressed margins],” he added.

Limited feedstock supply is expected to keep Jiangsu Sopo’s etac plant running at the current level “in the next week or two”, according to the official.

Etac, which is mainly produced by the esterification of ethanol with acetic acid, is used in coating formulations like epoxies and vinyls, and in solvent applications for inks and food.

By: Trisha Huang

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