Assam Petrochemicals to construct methanol and acetic acid plants

India's Assam Petrochemicals is planning to build methanol and downstream acetic acid (AA) plants in Namrup, Assam.

The plants, which are expected to be completed by the end of 2014, will produce methanol of 500,000tpa and acetic acid of 200,000tpa, reports.

Assam's natural gas will be used as feedstock to complete the construction of the methanol plant.

Although concrete plans had not been finalised yet, in the long term, the company plans to build further downstream plants at the site.

As part of the plan, Assam Petrochemicals is considering dimethyl ether and biodiesel plants to use the methanol.

The company is also planning to build downstream vinyl acetate monomer (VAM), polyvinyl acetate (PVA) and polyvinyl alcohol (PVOH) plants to use the AA.

Starting in September 2012, the company is planning to import acetic acid from Middle Eastern sources on contractual terms.

Major acetic acid producers in Asia and the Middle East include China's Jiangsu Sopo Chemical, Shanghai Wujing Chemical, Yankuang Cathay Coal Chemicals, Henan Shunda Chemical and Hebei Yingdu Gasification.

Assam Petrochemical, which is predominantly owned by the Assam state government, is involved in the manufacture of petrochemicals using natural gas as feedstock.

The company also has a small methanol plant and a downstream formaldehyde plant in Namrup, with both having a capacity of 33,000tpa.