EPCA’18: No new major MMA capacity expected until 2023 globally

Source: ICIS News

2018/10/11

VIENNA (ICIS)--There is not expected to be any major new capacity in the global methyl methacrylate (MMA) market until 2023, sources said on the sidelines of the European Petrochemical Association (EPCA) meeting.

Mitsubishi Chemical’s (MCC) new MMA plant is now expected to be completed by early 2023, and will be on the same scale as the Alpha II plant in Saudi Arabia, said the producer.

The new 250,000 tonne/year plant in Saudi Arabia for Saudi Methacrylates has been described as a ‘game changer’ in the market.

This is a joint venture agreement between MCC and SABIC, which achieved commercial operations in April this year.

MCC is the owner of Lucite International that has existing capacity in the US.

“LI/MCC are expanding capacity in the Asia region and considering an MAA [methacrylic acid] expansion at Beaumont to address demand growth,” the producer stated in a recent publication.

There is expected to be a number of smaller plants in Asia, which is the combination of new facilities and the restart of a idled plants.

There is also expected to be a new plant in India for Gujarat State Fertilizers and Chemicals (GSFC) with a capacity of approximately 65,000 tonnes/year.

MMA demand traditionally grows in line with the economy at 3% a year, with many expecting the new capacity in the Middle East to have been absorbed within the next 3-4 years.

Supply in the medium term is expected to remain in a balanced position in Europe, with investment in facilities expected to improve reliability going into 2019.

This includes the major turnaround for Lucite International at its Cassel plant in the UK in March 2018, costing £17m to complete.