Saudi Arabia’s IAC runs acetic acid plant normally after outage

05 December 2013 06:33 Source:ICIS News

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Saudia Arabia’s International Acetyls Co (IAC) resumed production at its 460,000 tonne/year acetic acid plant in Jubail Industrial City this week following an unplanned outage in the previous week, sources close to the company said on Thursday.

Technical issues had caused the four-day outage, which resulted in a production loss of 2,000-2,500 tonnes of acetic acid for merchant sales, the sources added.

The acetic acid plant is said to be operating at “normal” rates currently.

Half of the output from the acetic acid plant is utilised for the production at a 330,000 tonne/year vinyl acetate monomer (VAM) plant that is operated by International Vinyl Acetate Co (IVC).

The remaining acetic acid output is sold in the local and international markets.

As a result of the outage, the producer has limited acetic acid volumes to sell to the India market in December.

Furthermore, a recent surge in feedstock methanol spot prices has prompted IAC to stay firm on its acetic acid offers at $490/tonne (€363/tonne) CFR (cost & freight) India for December shipments, a $30/tonne hike from November.

An end-user has capped its bids at up to $480/tonne CFR India for cargoes arriving at the end of the month. Discussions are heard to be ongoing.

IAC and IVC are limited liability companies whose majority shareholder is Sipchem (Saudi International Petrochemical Co) with 76%. Ikarus Petroleum Industries Co has an 11% stake in both companies, while Helm Arabia holds 10% and Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Endowments owns the remaining 3%.

($1 = €0.74)

By Helen Lee