PETRONAS Labuan methanol No 2 unit shut; No 1 may restart in Sept

16 August 2012 10:28  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Malaysia's state-owned energy major PETRONAS is looking at restarting its 660,000 tonne/year No 1 methanol plant at Labuan early next month, while its bigger plant at the site is currently shut, a company source said on Thursday.

The company source did not disclose further details on the unexpected shutdown of the 1.7m tonne/year methanol unit, but market sources said that the plant has been down since last week.

PETRONAS’ No 1 methanol plant, on the other hand, has been off line since 26 July – when a blast occurred at a vessel that was loading material from the unit.

The No 2 unit may be able to resume operations next week, the company source said.

The shutdown of the 2.3m tonne/year capacity in Malaysia has yet to affect the regional methanol market as the company may have sufficient inventory to continue supplying to customers, market players said.

Methanol is used to make formaldehyde, methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE), methylamines, methyl methacrylate (MMA) and acetic acid.

Other regional methanol producers include Indonesia’s Kaltim and Brunei Methanol Company.

By: Heng Hui
+65 6780 4359

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