Under the phase 2 development, due on stream in 2008, Sipchem will add a 417,000-tonne-a-year (t/y) acetic acid plant, which will also feed a planned 300,000-t/y vinyl acetate monomer (VAM) plant and a methanol unit with capacity of 1 million t/y. The acetic acid and acetic anhydride unit will be based on the technology of Eastman Chemical Company of the US and the VAM unit will use the US’ DuPont Company’stechnology.

Front-end engineering and design (FEED) contracts on phase 2 are due to be tendered by mid-2005 while engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) packages are due out by the end of 2005. Commissioning is scheduled for late 2008.

A feasibility study is close to completion on the third phase of the development, comprising an olefins complex and an ethane cracker with capacity of at least 1 million t/y. Construction is approaching completion on the first phase of the investment programme, which covers a 1 million-t/y methanol unit, due on stream in December, and a 75,000-t/y maleic anhydride (MAN)/butanediol (BDO) unit, scheduled to start production in December 2005 (MEED 13:8:04).