South Korea's ISU Chemical runs Ulsan IPA plant at 70-80%

05 October 2012 10:56  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--South Korea’s ISU Chemical is operating its 30,000 tonne/year isopropanol (IPA) line in Ulsan at 70-80% of capacity after restarting the facility on 1 October, a source close to the company said on Friday.

The company has resumed production at the acetone-based unit after around four months of shutdown because of improved margins on the back of stronger regional demand.

Spot prices in southeast Asia rose sharply in September as several plant shutdowns in Asia have led to tight supply.

However, buying sentiment has softened this week despite a delay in the restart schedule of JX Nippon Oil & Energy’s 85,000 tonne/year IPA plant to the first half of October from 29 September.  The unit was shut since 8 August for maintenance.

Buyers in southeast Asia were cautious as they have already boooked some cargoes for October delivery and they preferred to wait for the production situation at the Japanese plant to become clearer.

“We are able to get more cargoes from Korea for October – the market is not as tight as before,” a buyer in southeast Asia said.

ISU Chemical will resume supplies to regional customers this month after restarting its IPA plant, according to market sources.  

The South Korean producer also operates a second 30,000 tonne/year line at the same site in Ulsan.

By: Yeow Pei Lin

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