Qatar’s QAFAC could restart MTBE unit earlier than planned

08 April 2014 13:04 Source:ICIS News

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Qatar Fuel Additives Co (QAFAC) could restart its methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) unit in Mesaieed earlier than expected after the plant was shut in late March for an annual turnaround, a source close to the company said on Tuesday.

The plant, which can produce around 610,000 tonnes/year of MTBE, was shut on 21 March and was scheduled to restart 45-60 days after that, the source said.

However, the source added that the turnaround could now take less than 45 days. 

Market participants said that this possible change is unlikely to affect the spot market as the company largely sells material on a term contract basis to several gasoline blenders in the Asia-Pacific region.

Other major MTBE producers in the Middle East include Saudi Arabia’s SABIC, Iran’s National Petrochemical Co (NPC) and Dubai Natural Gas Co (DUGAS).

Additional reporting by Hedy Dong

By Trixie Yap