M4 methanol unit in Trinidad restarted after turnaround - source

01 October 2012 21:53  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--A methanol plant in Trinidad owned by Methanol Holdings (Trinidad) Limited (MHTL) has been restarted after going down for maintenance in early September, a source close to the plant said on Monday.

MHTL’s 580,000 tonne/year M4 unit restarted as planned following a 15-day turnaround that began on or about 1 September, the source said.

Another MHTL plant, the 1.9m tonne/year M5000 unit, began a 10-day turnaround following the M4 restart. It was unclear if M5000 had been restarted yet.

The turnarounds at the MHTL plants coincide with another natural gas curtailment imposed by the state-owned National Gas for September and October, Trinidad’s Energy Ministry said last month.

Natural gas cutbacks have become routine over the past 18 months on the Caribbean island, which supplies 65-70% of US methanol imports in any given month.

Repair work being done on offshore platforms has prompted many gas curtailments in Trinidad since late 2010, which have reduced methanol, ammonia and other chemical production.

Methanol production in Trinidad dropped almost 8% in the first seven months this year, compared with the same period of 2011, according to the country’s Central Bank. Natural gas production in Trinidad declined about 2% in the same period.

Spot prices levelled off after rising in mid-September on news of the turnarounds, with prices now at 114.00-114.50 cents/gal, sources said.

By: Lane Kelley
+1 713 525 2653

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