LG Chem's IPA unit to have sufficient feedstock acetone by March

15 February 2013 05:38  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--South Korea's LG Chem is expected to have sufficient feedstock acetone to operate fully its 50,000 tonne/year isopropanol (IPA) plant in Yeosu by March, a source close to the company said on Friday.

Operations at the facility have been capped at 50% of capacity since it commenced operations in November 2012 because of a delay in the start-up of the producer’s phenol-acetone plant in Daesan, the source said.

LG Chem started up the upstream plant, which can produce up to 180,000 tonnes/year of acetone on 13 February and it expects to reach full operation in March. The plant was initially scheduled to begin production in November 2012.

Market sources said weak margins resulting from high acetone costs may discourage LG Chem from raising the run rates at its IPA plant to capacity levels, although feedstock supply is no longer an issue.

“Acetone-based facilities in Asia are mostly running at low rates because of weak margins. This will not change unless acetone costs go down,’’ a trader said.

LG Chem also operates a 55,000 tonne/year acetone-based IPA facility and a 45,000 tonne/year propylene-based unit in Yeosu.

By: Yeow Pei Lin

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