MOSCOW (MRC) -- Shintech, a subsidiary of Shin-Etsu Chemical Co. and the largest US polyvinyl chloride (PVC) producer, has an ongoing turnaround at its PVC facility in Freeport, Texas, reported S&P Global with reference to a source familiar with company operations.
The complany plans to end maintenance works at its 1.4 million mt/year PVC complex in Freeport in early May, 2020.
The turnaround was launched in late March, 2020. Previously, market sources had expected the turnaround to occur in March, as is typical, but the source said then that it was planned for April. The planned work had prompted the company to stockpile PVC to meet domestic and contract demand, limiting export volume availability for March and April.
Shintech did not respond to a request for comment.
As MRC informed previously, in July 2018, Shintech began to construct a new integrated plant to PVC from salt. The new plant will be on industrial site developed by Shintech, located next to Shintech's existing plant in Plaquemine, Louisiana.
Shintech obtained permits to build a plant capable of producing 1.9 billion pounds (860 thousand tons) per year of vinyl chloride monomer (VCM), the raw material of PVC, and 660 thousand tons per year of caustic soda, and has commenced construction of the first phase of the plan. The first phase will increase production capacity by 640 million pounds (290 thousand tons) of PVC per year and 270 thousand tons of caustic soda per year. The amount of this investment is expected to be $1.49 billion, which Shintech will fund by itself. Completion of the construction is targeted for the end of 2020. Annual production capacity after the completion of the first phase will be 7.14 billion pounds (3,240 thousand tons per year) of PVC and 1,570 thousand tons of caustic soda per year.
According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated consumption of unmixed PVC was 249,190 tonnes in January-March 2020, up by 5% year on year. Shipments of emulsion and suspension PVC to the market grew both due to domestic producers and higher imports.