Several Styrene plants expected to raise capacity, restart in Asia

Styrene Monomer demand in Asia, particularly China, continues to perk up due to a rebound of the furniture sector. Increase in demand is estimated as the peak demand season for derivative Polystyrene is set to commence. Several producers in Asia are gearing up for this increased demand. Japan's Nihon Oxirane Co., a 50:50 joint venture between Sumitomo and Lyondell Chemical Co has increased run rates to 90% at its Styrene Monomer plant in Q1-09. A dearth of feedstock benzene in the region has rendered the company unable to attain 100% run rates at the plant. The restart of its 130,000 tpa No.2 Styrene Monomer plant, shuttered since December 2008, is being considered by Taiwan's Grand Pacific Petrochemical Corporation (GPPC) this month. Run rates at it's 200,000 tpa No.3 SM plant have been maximized. Subject to improved supply of feedstock benzene, Taiwan's Formosa Chemicals & Fibre Corp plans to restart it's No.1 SM this month. Increase in run rates at its ethylene plant could trigger increased run rates at its No.2 and No.3 SM plants on priority.
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