China’s Taizhou Petchem further defers MIBK plant restart: sources

04 June 2013 04:44  [Source: ICIS news]

MELBOURNE (ICIS)--China's Taizhou Petrochemical has further deferred the restart of its 20,000 tonne/year methyl isobutyl ketone (MIBK) plant in Jiangsu province because of poor economics, sources close to the company said on Tuesday.

Supply of feedstock hydrogen has been restored by the resumption of Taizhou’s methyl ethyl ketone (MEK) output in early June. However, the producer has yet to announce when it will restart its MIBK plant, the sources said.

Taizhou Petrochemical had intended to restart its MIBK plant, which has been off line since December 2012, sometime in the second quarter of 2013.

The MIBK plant was taken off line in late December because of a feedstock hydrogen shortage caused by the shutdown of its 30,000 tonne/year MEK unit at the same site.

However, Taizhou may further defer the restart of its MIBK unit beyond the second quarter because of weak margins from producing MIBK and the ongoing supply overhang caused by the high volume of imports, the sources said.

China imported 20,615 tonnes of MIBK between January and April 2013, a 115% surge from January-April 2012, market sources said, citing customs data.

China’s MIBK imports between January and April 2013 amounted to the same volumes purchased between January and October 2012, which has resulted in a substantial inventory build, the sources added.

By: Trisha Huang

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