09 May 2013 03:20 [Source: ICIS news]
TAIPEI (ICIS)--Greencol Taiwan Corp, a joint venture between Taiwan’s China Man-Made Fiber Corp (CMMFC) and Japan’s Toyota Tsusho, will maintain a 67% operating rate at its two sugarcane-based ethylene glycol (EG) units in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, a company source said on Thursday.
The two EG unit, each with a nameplate capacity of 75,000 tonnes/year, produces around 7,000-7,500 tonnes/month of bio-monoethylene glycol (MEG), 700-750 tonnes/month of bio-diethylene glycol (DEG), the source said at the sidelines of the Asia Petrochemical Industry Conference (APIC) in Taipei, Taiwan.
The EG units were fed with around 67,000 tonnes/month of ethanol-based ethylene from Greencol’s new 100,000 tonnes/year ethylene plant at the same site, the source said.
“We achieved stable operations at our new ethanol-based ethylene plant in early March,” the source added.
Greencol started trial runs at the ethanol-based ethylene unit in late May of 2012, but has only achieved stable on-spec production two months ago because of facility and technology issues, the source said.
Feedstock ethanol, which is made by sugarcane, is imported from Brazil, he added.
The production cost for ethanol-made ethylene is much higher than that of naphtha-based ethylene, the source said, adding that it is roughly around 1.5 times of the current ethylene prices.
“We charge premiums for the bio-MEG and bio-DEG products [to naphtha-MEG] because of higher cost and their environmentally friendly properties,” the source said.
The premium is around 30-50% of naphtha-MEG prices, a source close to the company said.
Toyota Tsusho, who is in charge of marketing bio-MEG and bio-DEG products, has used bio-MEG made polyester textiles in interior decoration of Lexus, the luxury vehicle division of Toyota Motor Corporation – the parent company of Toyota Tsusho, the source said.
Greencol also produces 40,000-45,000 tonne/year of bio-ethylene oxide (EO), the source said.
The applications for bio-EO is mainly in personal-care and household detergent products, he added.
APIC 2013 is being held on 9-10 May.
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