S Korea’s Samsung BP to shut Ulsan acetic acid plant on 18 March

14 March 2013 07:04  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--S Korea’s Samsung BP Chemicals plans to shut its 600,000 tonne/year acetic acid plant in Ulsan on 18 March for scheduled maintenance lasting 25 days, a company official said on Wednesday.

“We cancelled some contract volumes for March shipments, because of our plant’s turnaround,” the source said.

The acetic acid plant is currently running at around 90% capacity, the source added.

The supplier has reiterated its selling targets for bulk acetic acid cargoes at $470-480/tonne (€362-370/tonne) CFR (cost & freight) northeast (NE) Asia, because of high feedstock methanol costs.

However, plant operating rates in the downstream purified terephthalic acid (PTA) sector are low, with a number of producers planning to cut their production capacities further.

“We may reduce our PTA plant operating rates,” a local PTA producer said. “Now we are running [the plant] at 85% capacity, but others have shut [their plants] because of poor economics.”

Major acetic acid producers in Asia include UK’s BP; China’s Jiangsu Sopo, Yankuang Cathay Coal Chemicals, Henan ShunDa Chemical and Hebei Yingdu Gasification; Taiwan’s Chang Chun Petrochemicals, India’s Gujarat Narmada Valley Fertilizers & Chemicals (GNFC); Saudi Arabia’s International Acetyl Company; and Iran’s Fanavaran Petrochemical.

($1 = €0.77)

By: Helen Lee
+65 6780 4359

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