PETRONAS runs Labuan methanol unit No 1 at 90%; No 2 at 70-75%

01 November 2012 08:52  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Malaysia's state-owned energy major PETRONAS is currently running its two methanol plants with a combined capacity of 2.36m tonnes/year at reduced rates, a company source said on Thursday.

Its 660,000 tonne/year No 1 methanol plant is operating at 90% of capacity while its bigger plant with a 1.7m tonne/year capacity is running at 70-75%, the source said.

The plants are operating that these stable rates in spite of some issues upstream, the source said.

“However, we cannot sell more to southeast Asia because we are still operating one jetty with two berths instead of two jetties with four berths [because of the fire],” the source added.

One jetty was damaged by an incident on 26 July, when a fire erupted at a chemical tanker docked nearby PETRONAS’ methanol No 1 plant.

It is unclear yet when operations at the jetty can resume, the source said.

“We are focused on loading to bigger vessels or co-loading methanol with other chemicals to make a bigger shipment – this is to avoid bunching [up] and congestion at the ports as compared to many smaller vessels,” the PETRONAS source said.

Methanol is used to make formaldehyde, methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE), methylamines, methyl methacrylate (MMA) and acetic acid.

Other regional methanol producers include Indonesia’s Kaltim and Brunei Methanol Co.

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