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Plant cancellations: Mitsubishi defers decision for MMA plant in Geismar; Trinseo considers closing German styrene facility

Mitsubishi defers decision for MMA plant in Geismar

Japan’s Mitsubishi Chemical Group (MCG) says that it will defer the final investment decision (FID) by 6 to 18 months for its new 350 kilotonnes/year methyl methacrylate (MMA) plant in Geismar, Louisiana, US, due to current market volatilities.

The project, which recently completed its front end engineering design (FEED) stage, is currently in the process of applying for the required wetland and air permits that are expected to be granted in 2023 and FID is expected in fiscal year 2023.

As MCG’s third Alpha technology plant, its design is said to achieve the lowest possible carbon footprint for MMA production, which is a critical part of the transition to a low carbon economy for MCG and its customers. The design also includes integrated production units for key raw materials, such as carbon monoxide and methanol, to produce 350 kilotonnes/year of MMA.

MCG adds it remains committed to working with its suppliers and partners in Geismar in preparation for FID and sourcing all of its customers’ requirements from its global asset base.

Trinseo considers closing German styrene facility

In other news, styrenics maker Trinseo says that it has initiated an information and consultation process with the Works Council of Trinseo Deutschland GmbH regarding the potential closure of its styrene monomer production site in Boehlen, Germany. The facility, which has a nameplate capacity of 300 kilotonnes/year, made loss of US$30 million over the last 12 months until June 2022, and the prospects for improvement are poor, says the company.

Frank Bozich, President/CEO of Trinseo, commented, “Given the current economic outlook of higher inflation, lower customer demand and elevated energy costs, we are evaluating asset optimisation across our portfolio.”

Bozich continued, “The cost position of the Boehlen facility is challenged due to the current energy cost environment in Europe as well as the facility’s smaller scale, and it’s difficult to envision significant earnings improvement at the site in the near to medium term. Therefore, we have decided to evaluate the potential closure of this plant. In addition to improved profitability for Trinseo, we believe a closure will aid in achieving our 2030 sustainability goals, as Boehlen is one of our most carbon intensive plants.”


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