Jiangsu Sopo declares acetic acid force majeure; cuts etac output

11 April 2013 08:21  [Source: ICIS news]

MELBOURNE (ICIS)--Chinese producer Jiangsu Sopo Chemical on 7 April announced a force majeure on its acetic acid supplies after shutting its 600,000 tonne/year plant on 4 April because of mechanical problems, a company source said on Thursday.

Ongoing mechanical issues have prompted the producer to shut and restart the acetic acid plant at Zhenjiang in Jiangsu province multiple times since March, the source added.

Jiangsu Sopo has placed its acetic acid customers on a 40-50% allocation, the source said, adding that the supply cuts affect mainly its domestic buyers in China.

The producer’s other 400,000 tonne/year acetic acid plant at the same site is unaffected.

As repairs of the larger acetic acid plant may take up to three months, the producer is planning to restart its 200,000 tonne/year acetic acid unit, which has been idle since April 2011.

“We plan to restart the smallest [200,000 tonne/year acetic acid] unit the following week,” the source said.

“However, the [smallest] plant has been off line for almost two years, so it’s unclear at this stage how well it will run [upon being restarted],” the source added.

Reduced acetic acid supply since early April has prompted Jiangsu Sopo to cut its downstream ethyl acetate (etac) output further to about 40% capacity, from 40-50% previously, the source added. 

By: Trisha Huang

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