AFPM '14: US ACN supply adequate despite production issues

30 March 2014 16:38  [Source: ICIS news]

SAN ANTONIO, Texas (ICIS)--Acrylonitrile (ACN) supply in the US Gulf is not short, despite producers operating at reduced rates and performing plant maintenance, industry sources said on Sunday.

"I don't think there's any tightness in North America," an ACN buyer said on the sidelines of the International Petrochemical Conference (IPC). "Supply is meeting current demand."

Market sources have described demand as relatively steady, although the export business has not accelerated as quickly as some had hoped.

Regarding production, INEOS Nitriles will continue to operate its 545,000 tonne/year Green Lake facility in Texas at 50% of capacity, a company source said on Wednesday.

The producer had announced in December that significant proportion of capacity would be idled through the first quarter because of unsustainable margins.

Meanwhile, Ascend Performance Materials is still performing maintenance on one of its 140,000 tonne/year unit at its Chocolate Bayou facility in Texas, according to a company source on Tuesday.

The producer previously said its AN2 unit would be down for three to four weeks in March for a scheduled turnaround. Its AN3 unit had been shut for seven to 10 days in February for maintenance as well.

Additionally, the 60,000 tonne/year Unigel/Pemex plant in Mexico was down for about two weeks in February because of technical difficulties.

ACN is used in the production of synthetic fibres, engineering plastics, carbon fibre, synthetic rubber and water soluble polymers for use by end-use markets such as automotive, textiles and construction.

Major North American producers of ACN include Ascend Performance Materials, Cornerstone, INEOS Nitriles and Unigel/Pemex.

Hosted by the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM), the IPC continues through Tuesday.

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By: Tracy Dang
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