09 May 2013 13:58 [Source: ICIS news]
SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Iraq’s Arab Co for Detergent Chemicals (Aradet) has begun a feasibility study to evaluate the expansion of its 50,000 tonne/year linear alkyl benzene (LAB) plant and 42,000 tonne/year n-paraffin unit near Baghdad, a source close to the company said on Thursday.
The study is expected to be completed by the end of the year, the source said.
“Although demand for LAB in Iraq is very weak at the moment because of the political turmoil in the past few years, downstream detergents consumption is expected to bounce back in the next two years,” the source said.
LAB consumption in Iraq used to average around 20,000 tonnes/year 10 years ago but has steadily declined, the source said.
“Currently consumption is only around 3,000-4,000 tonnes/year,” he said.
Aradet is exporting 90% of its production to neighbouring countries in the Middle East and Africa, the source said.
Last year, the company was operating its LAB plant at only 50% capacity because of poor demand in the Middle East and northern Africa – a fallout of political unrest in countries such as Syria, Egypt and Libya . However, early this year, production was ramped up to 80%, the source added.
“Expanding the n-paraffin capacity will address the global shortage of the feedstock,” the source said.
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