China’s Hubei Shuanghuan runs soda ash plant at reduced rates

26 March 2014 10:40 Source:ICIS News

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China’s Hubei Shuanghuan has further reduced the operating rates at its 1m tonne/year soda ash plant to 20% capacity, down from the previous 60% capacity, owing to power grid upgrading works, sources close to the company said on Wednesday.

The producer was unlikely to resume normal operations until after 28 or 29 March, according to sources.

The plant can produce 700,000 tonnes/year of light-grade soda ash and 300,000 tonnes/year of dense grade soda ash.

Prices of light-grade soda ash in the southern Chinese domestic market recovered this week by CNY20/tonne on the high end of the range at CNY1,400-1,500/tonne DEL during the week ended 26 March, after showing a CNY80/tonne loss in value from early March transaction levels.

The recent curtailment in supply of light grade soda ash to the southern Chinese market on a combination of reduced output levels and ongoing and impending soda ash plant maintenance were factors bolstering the price recovery, sources said.

Soda ash is primarily used in glassmaking, the manufacture of other inorganic chemicals, detergents, flue gas desulphurisation, water treatment and in pulp and paper manufacturing.

By Helen Lee