30 April 2013 19:29 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--China will remain a major sulphur-process titanium dioxide (TiO2) supplier in the long run because it does not have the know-how to utilise the chloride-route production process, a consultant said on Tuesday.
"China will remain sulphate-heavy because they do not have the technology and know-how to run chloride-process plants," said Jim Fisher, CEO of IBMA. He made his comments at the Barcelona TiO2 summit.
TiO2 can be produced by two major processes, one of which is the chloride route and the other is the sulphate route.
The sulphate route is used mostly in Europe where 63% of output is through the sulphate process and in China, where almost 100% of TiO2 is produced by it.
In North America 96% of production relies on the chloride process.
Chloride-process TiO2 tends to be of higher quality and more expensive, and mostly produced by western-European producers in Europe.
European TiO2 prices dropped from €3.00-3.40/kg ($1.79-2.03/lb) FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe) in March 2012 to €2.35-2.50/kg FD NWE in April 2013.
The conference runs from 30 April to 2 May.
($1 = €0.76)
Follow Janos Gal on Twitter @janosgalICIS
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