05 March 2013 08:08 [Source: ICIS news]
SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Taiwan’s Formosa Chemical & Fibre Corp (FCFC) started trial runs at its purified isophthalic acid (PIA) unit at Loong-der on 4 March, a company source said on Tuesday.
The PIA plant has a nameplate capacity of 200,000 tonnes/year and was converted from FCFC’s 400,000 tonne/year Loong-der No 2 purified terephthalic acid (PTA) unit, the source said.
Persistently negative margins in PTA production prompted the company to seek other alternatives to reduce losses, the source said.
“We have been thinking to convert the unit to PIA for a long time," the source said in Mandarin and added: "Now is the time.”
PIA is mainly used as an additive for polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottle resins, coatings and unsaturated polyester.
The major downstream PET bottle resin has entered its peak demand season from February to May, and is expected to lend support to PIA demand, the source said.
The other major PIA producers in Asia include Japan’s Mitsubishi Gas Chemical and South Korea’s Lotte Chemical.
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