28 June 2013 09:46 [Source: ICIS news]
SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China’s Shandong Dongming Petrochemical is expected to complete the construction of its 40,000 tonne/year methyl ethyl ketone (MEK) plant in Heze, Shandong province, by August, a company source said on Friday.
Trial operations at the facility, which is co-owned by South Korean petrochemical company ISU Chem, may begin in the same month, the source said.
The schedule for commercial production will depend on the progress of the trial-run and the prevailing market conditions, the source said.
Supplies from the plant will be sold in the Chinese domestic market and exported to South Korea, a market source said.
“Producers [in Asia] will probably continue to struggle with weak margins next year if demand does not increase in line with supply,” an Asian trader said.
China is a key MEK production centre and its output is exported to Asian markets such as South Korea, southeast Asia and India.
Competition in the regional market will become even tougher next year when Chinese producer Taizhou Petrochemical starts up its 80,000 tonne/year plant in early 2014.
The new facility in Jiangsu province will replace the company’s existing 30,000 tonne/year MEK plant, a company source said.
“The old plant will be mothballed once operations at the new unit stabilises,” the source said.
Taizhou Petrochemical resumed operations at its 30,000 tonne/year plant in early June after more than five months of shutdown but production halted again last week because of a shortage of feedstock C4.
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