The Urethane Blog

Wanhua Methanol Plant

China Wanhua starts up new coal-based methanol plant
November 10/2020
MOSCOW (MRC) — Chinese private-sector firm Wanhua Chemical has recetnly started up a new coal-based methanol plant at Yantai in Shandong province, according to Petrotahlil.

The new plant has a nameplate capacity of 600,000 t/yr and can produce up to 670,000 t/yr of methanol.

Wanhua has mothballed its old, coal-based methanol plant with 200,000 t/yr capacity at the same site.

The new plant may not have much impact on the methanol market as Wanhua plans to maintain low operations at the plant in the initial stage, mainly for its captive consumption by its methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI), methyl methacrylate and methyl tert-butyl ether units totalling 200,000 t/yr of methanol demand.

Weak margins are another concern for Wanhua to produce more methanol.

Wanhua is looking to sell vessel cargoes to east China in the longer term. The company owns China’s single-largest capacity propane dehydrogenation (PDH) plant at Yantai in Shandong province. The PDH unit has 750,000 t/yr of propylene capacity and fully integrated derivatives units. Wanhua is also the world’s largest MDI manufacturer.

The company is also set to start up its 1mn t/yr propane-feed cracker in early November.

As MRC wrote previously, China’s Wanhua Chemical posted a 49.56% decrease in net profits in the first half of the year, as sales and prices both took a hit from the coronavirus pandemic. Slump in oil prices also dampened demand and prices of its products.

Ethylene and propylene are feedstocks for producing polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP).

Author:Margaret Volkova