Cornerstone mulls new US ACN train for 2023

19 September 2018 16:59 Source:ICIS News

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Cornerstone Chemical Company is considering an additional 130,000 tonnes/year acrylonitrile (ACN) train in the US, with commercial production expected to begin in 2023, the producer said in a press release.

Cornerstone is conducting engineering and design, with the intent to reach a final investment decision (FID) in late 2019.

The location of the plant is to be determined but will be in the US, according to the announcement.

“Demand in the US continues to grow, and we see ourselves as the most likely candidate to add capacity,” a representative of the company said.

Cornerstone’s only ACN plant is located in Fortier, Louisiana and has a capacity of 240,000 tonnes/year.

In the meantime, Cornerstone has undertaken concerted debottlenecking efforts at Fortier in order to increase its ACN output.

US ACN supplies have been tight from early 2017 amid a flurry of production disruptions coupled with sustained and growing demand in the global market.

Ascend Performance Materials is undergoing a 10-15% expansion of its nylon 6,6 supply chain in order to support severe shortages and demand growth in the key downstream polyamide market.

Ascend completed its first expansion of 50,000 tonnes at the end of 2017 and plans to add an additional 40,000 tonnes of capacity by the end of 2018. Plans for an additional 180,000 tonnes are expected to be completed by the end of 2022.

Major ACN producers in the US include Ascend Performance Materials, Cornerstone Chemical and INEOS Nitriles.

By Lucas Hall