China's Jiangsu Lianhai to shut ethanol plant for maintenance

03 August 2012 03:46  [Source: ICIS news]

MELBOURNE (ICIS)--China’s Jiangsu Lianhai Biological Technology is planning to shut its 200,000 tonne/year tapioca-based ethanol plant at Nantong in Jiangsu province on 3 August for scheduled maintenance, market sources said on Friday.

The scheduled overhaul will last about two weeks, the sources added.

The company’s 100,000 tonne/year ethyl acetate (etac) plant at the same site will be brought off line to coincide with the ethanol plant shutdown, the sources said. However, the etac plant will not undergo overhaul.

Ethanol, typically produced from tapioca or corn in China, is used in combination with acetic acid in the production of etac.

Domestic ethanol prices in eastern China strengthened to yuan (CNY) 6,350-6,600/tonne ($997-1,036/tonne) ex-works (EXW) this week, compared with CNY6,150-6,450/tonne EXW at the start of July, according to Chemease, an ICIS service in China.

“Ethanol supply has tightened. Even at CNY6,600/tonne ex-works, it’s difficult to find cargoes,” said a China-based etac maker.

Ethanol supply in China has tightened because of reduced output as well as planned maintenance between late July and early August. Unusually heavy rainfall and flooding in parts of China in late July have also delayed shipments and caused ethanol supply disruption, a separate China-based etac producer said.

Most of the tapioca used by China’s ethanol plants is imported from Thailand and Vietnam.

($1 = CNY6.37)

With additional reporting by Elisa Fu

By: Trisha Huang

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