S Korea's Kumho P&B to cut acetone exports after MIBK expansion

08 October 2012 03:29  [Source: ICIS news]

MELBOURNE (ICIS)--South Korea’s Kumho P&B Chemicals will not be in a position to regularly offer acetone for exports after it completes its methyl isobutyl ketone (MIBK) plant capacity expansion, a company source said on Monday.

Kumho’s captive usage of acetone, the feedstock for MIBK production, will be increased by about 2,800 tonnes/month to about 6,000 tonnes/month from January 2013, the source said.

The company is undertaking capacity expansion at its 30,000 tonne/year MIBK plant in Yeosu, which started from 1 September.

The capacity of the MIBK plant will be increased to 55,000 tonnes/year after the capacity expansion, which will take three and a half months.

Prior to the 1 September shutdown, the MIBK plant was using about 3,200 tonnes/month of acetone, the source added.

The increased captive acetone consumption will substantially reduce Kumho’s acetone export availability from January 2013, the source said.

“We will be more or less balanced on acetone, and will not be able to offer acetone for export sales,” he said.

The company’s No 2 and No 3 phenol/acetone plants in Yeosu will be shut on 12 October for annual maintenance lasting about three weeks.

The No 2 phenol/acetone unit can produce 130,000 tonnes/year of phenol and 80,000 tonnes/year of acetone, while the No 3 plant has a nameplate capacity of 250,000 tonnes/year of phenol and 150,000 tonnes/year of acetone.

The company’s No 1 phenol/acetone unit has been idled indefinitely since early 2009.

By: Trisha Huang

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