South Korea's Hanwha Total Petrochemicals plans to expand its styrene monomer capacity by 600,000 m tpa in 2018 by building a No. 3 plant at Daesan, as per market sources in Platts. The company already has the 400,000 mt/year No. 1 SM plant and 650,000 mt/year No. 2 unit at Daesan. The expansion will make Hanwha Total the biggest SM producer in Asia, with a total nameplate capacity of more than 1.6 mln mt/year, the source added.
Currently, Taiwan's Formosa Chemicals and Fibre Corp. with a capacity of 1.2 mln mt/year is the largest SM producer. South Korean SM plays a major role in the Asian spot market, accounting for 19% of the region's total capacity. China, the world's top SM buyer, imported 33% of its annual SM requirement from South Korea in 2015, according to customs data.