Methanex methanol plant in Egypt running at 70% rate

25 October 2012 19:28  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Methanex’s plant in Egypt is now running at 70% capacity and would most likely run at that rate for the near future until the country becomes more stable, the company's chief executive said on Thursday.

“We think that’s a reasonable estimate until things improve” in Egypt, said Bruce Aitken, the methanol producer’s chief executive, in a conference call.

Methanex closed its 1.3m tonne/year plant in Damietta, Egypt, from late August to late September because the unit’s gas supply was cut off by the government following electricity shortages caused by an unusually hot summer.

Traders and other methanol sources have expressed doubts following the restart that the plant was running at a high rate.

Aitken said Methanex’s two plants in Trinidad operated at an 86% rate in the third quarter.

One Methanex plant in Trinidad, the 1.7m tonne/year Atlas unit, has been down for maintenance in October and will restart in early November, Aitken said.

The company’s other Trinidad plant, the 900,000 tonne/year Titan unit, is currently running.

Aitken said last year that Methanex wanted to buy BP’s 36.9% share in the Atlas plant, but he said on Thursday the company no longer has any interest in such a deal.

“That horse is dead,” Aitken said. “We haven’t had any conversations on that in six or eight months. We’ve withdrawn from any interest in it.”

By: Lane Kelley
+1 713 525 2653

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