Japan's JX Nippon delays IPA plant restart to October

01 October 2012 09:44  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Japan’s JX Nippon Oil & Energy has delayed the restart schedule of its 85,000 tonne/year isopropanol (IPA) plant in Kawasaki to October from end-September, a source close to the company said on Monday.

There is no revised restart date set yet although the company is hoping to bring the plant back on stream by mid-October, the source said.

The source did not give any reason for the delay.

A separate source said the plant, which was shut since 8 August for maintenance, is not able to resume production because of insufficient feedstock following a delay in the restart of JX Nippon’s naphtha cracker in Kawasaki.

The company did not resume production at its 460,000 tonne/year cracker as scheduled on 28 September as a result of unspecified mechanical issues, and no new restart date has been set.

The uncertainties in the production situation at JX Nippon’s IPA plant are expected to keep the spot prices of IPA in southeast Asia at high levels, buyers said.

“We were initially expecting supply to improve this month. The uncertainty over JX production is likely to keep prices strong,’’ a buyer said.

IPA prices in southeast Asia were stable at $1,400-1,420/tonne (€1,092-1,108) CFR (cost & freight) southeast (SE) Asia in the week ended 28 September, according to ICIS pricing data.

($1 = €0.78)

By: Yeow Pei Lin

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