Saudi International Petrochemical Company (Sipchem) has delayed shutdown plans for its 330,000 metric tpa vinyl acetate monomer (VAM) plant in Jubail, as per Platts. As per original plans, the company had scheduled to shut the plant for 15-20 days in August or September to replace the plant catalyst, and then postponed the shutdown to September or October. The shutdown is postponed to Q4-2011, as the plant's catalyst continues to work above expectations. Operations at Sipchem's plant have a major impact on Indian and Southeast Asian markets, being the only VAM plant in the Middle East, while India has none and Southeast Asia has only one 170,000 tpa plant run by Celanese in Singapore. The shutdown of the plant will result in an impending loss of around 13,500-18,000 tons of VAM output.