Huntsman Plans to Restart Maleic Anhydride Production Operations in Germany
- 26-Oct-2023 5:57 PM
- Journalist: Shiba Teramoto
Huntsman, a prominent US-based chemical corporation with a global presence, is gearing up to resume the production of maleic anhydride in the city of Moers, Germany, on October 29. This development comes in the wake of an unscheduled maintenance shutdown, which temporarily halted operations at the facility. The Moers plant boasts a substantial annual production capacity of 105,000 tons of maleic anhydride.
The need for this unscheduled maintenance arose due to a technical breakdown, forcing the temporary closure of the facility on October 15. This setback serves as a reminder of the complex challenges that can be encountered in the chemical industry, especially in maintaining the reliability and operational continuity of such critical production units.
Huntsman's journey in managing the Moers maleic anhydride plant has been marked by previous hurdles. Notably, in December 2020, the company had to curtail capacity utilization at the same facility. The reason behind this decision was the presence of technical issues affecting two of the reactors involved in the maleic anhydride production process. These challenges had emerged between July 15 and 19, 2020, during a period when the company was keen to increase production in response to heightened demand for the material in the market.
Maleic anhydride, a compound integral to various industrial processes, serves as a crucial raw material for several applications. It finds use in the production of tetrahydrofuran, tetrahydrophthalic anhydride, films, and synthetic fibers. Furthermore, maleic anhydride contributes to the pharmaceutical industry, detergent manufacturing, plasticizers, and the synthesis of maleic, succinic, fumaric, and malic acids, as well as a range of agricultural chemicals.
Notably, plasticizers play a pivotal role in the polymer industry, where they are introduced into polymer materials to enhance elasticity and plasticity during both processing and operation. In particular, plasticizers are integral to the production of polyvinyl chloride (PVC), with approximately 80% of plasticizer applications directed towards PVC product manufacturing.
To gain insights into the current landscape of the PVC market, MRC's ScanPlast review is an essential resource. In the initial eight months of the current year, Russia observed an estimated consumption of unmixed PVC, excluding exports to Belarus, totaling 635.71 thousand tons. This figure represents a marginal decrease of 2% when compared to 2022.
Huntsman, as a global chemical company, occupies a leading position in the manufacturing of various chemical products across a wide spectrum of industries. The company's diverse product portfolio encompasses polyurethane catalysts, epoxy adhesives, epoxy powder coatings, aerospace composites, electrical insulation materials, textile chemicals, polyetheramines, ethylene and propylene carbonates, and the pivotal maleic anhydride.
The resumption of maleic anhydride production at the Moers plant signifies Huntsman's commitment to addressing operational challenges swiftly and efficiently. Maleic anhydride's significance in numerous industrial processes, particularly in the production of essential compounds and materials, underscores its role as a cornerstone of the chemical industry.