India’s GNFC to shut methanol plant in April for maintenance

04 April 2014 10:11 Source:ICIS News

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--India's Gujarat Narmada Valley Fertilizers Co (GNFC) will shut its 290,000 tonne/year methanol plant in Bharuch for two weeks from mid-April to carry out maintenance, a company official said on Friday.

Exact dates have yet to be announced, but the source said the company is envisaging to close the three methanol lines on 13-15 April.

The volume of methanol produced is allocated for the company’s downstream acetic acid plant as well as local distribution, the source said.

In the past months, local producers such as GNFC were said to be running their plants at full rates to meet end-user demand.

However with import prices softening for 11 consecutive weeks to 28 March, local producers are said to be under pressure to reduce their production.

According to ICIS data, import prices were at $350-370/tonne CFR (cost & freight) west coast India in the week ended 28 March, compared with $570-550 CFR west coast India on 3 January.

GNFC said it is offering material at rupee (Rs) 25.00-25.50/kg EXW (ex-works) on 4 April on advance-payment terms.

The GNFC official said the plant’s shutdown might lead to some supply shortage in the market. However, methanol importers said the shutdown will have little impact on the weakening market because of abundant supply from Iran and the Middle East.

According to sources, several vessels carrying methanol imports are expected to reach the ports on India’s west coast in the coming weeks.

By Fahima Khail