Two VCM manufacturing plants available from International Process Plants represent an opportunity to capitalize on future growth in global VCM demand. Both plants have significant expansion capabilities. “These VCM plants could be attractive opportunities in areas like Asia, to fill a new VCM supply gap caused by recent plant closings,” says Michael Joachim, IPP Director of Plants. He adds that ICIS data shows that VCM prices have shot up since the start of the year.
The first VCM plant has a nominal production capacity rated at 120,000 M tpa, but could be expanded to 160,000 M tpa, and with further improvements could reach 250,000 M tpa.
The second VCM manufacturing plant has a nominal production capacity rated at 260,000 m tpa, but could run up to 275,000 M tpa, and with improvements could reach approximately 300,000 M tpa. Both plants were designed with an initial technology developed by SIR, similar to the Goodrich fluid bed catalyst process, using air for oxy-chlorination. Later, the plants were converted to pure oxygen oxidation. The plants’ shutdown occurred in 2009, and the equipment is kept under N2 atmosphere. The plants both use an ethylene-based process, the most common way to produce VCM. These plants are potential opportunities for VCM producers located in regions that are rich in natural gas, petroleum, or ethylene. International Process Plants estimates that its plants can be dismantled, shipped, and rebuilt in 18 to 24 months, a significant time advantage compared to building new plants.