Japanese sulfuric acid supply lack of fear in November

                                          IRUNIV 2013/08/17

photo The executive of A major sulfuric acid supplier says, “The sulfuric acid supply may become not enough in November, as we have never experienced that. We have told our users to fill their sulfuric acid tank as far as they can.”

Influence of March 11 accident
 76.6% of domestic sulfuric acid supply is produced as the raw materials of sulfurous acid gas which are exhausted by non-ferrous smelting (see the table below). Therefore, in the case of Japan, what is the operation in non-ferrous smelting is all directly linked to the production of sulfuric acid. The routine repairs overlapped at copper smelter in November this year. The factories of 1 million tonne class of annual sulfuric acid production such as Toyo factory (Ehime Pref.) of Sumitomo Metal Mining, Saganoseki smelter (Oita Pref.) of Pan Pacific Copper and Onahama Smelting & Refining (Fukushima Pref.), will enter the 15-20 days-routine repairs. Rightly, the production of sulfuric acid will stop during this routine repair period. That the routine repairs overlapped thus far is said to be related to the influence of March 11 accident.
 It is hoped to be able to survive in this critical situation, “When the repair is over, I hope the smelters stand up immediately, but I'm afraid if there are some kind of troubles, and the routine repairs will be extended, then sulfuric acid will be in short,” the executive of A company said without hiding any tension.


Even if we get over the crisis in November…
 There are approximately 500,000 tonne of demand for sulfuric acid, which domestic demand is approximately 300,000 tonne, and export demand is approximately 200,000 tonne.
 On the other hand, it is said there will be "around 560,000 tonne" (the mentioned above executive) even if we fill up the existing tanks in the country with sulfuric acid, and this is also considered that we cannot store to 560,000 tonne perfectly. If the routine repairs of the smelter company in November are to be delayed, the sulfuric acid supply will be tight in no time. Because that sense of crisis is at side of the sulfuric acid suppliers, we have told the former message to the users of each companies. The chemical product property of called sulfuric acid, owing to that we really must rely on the supply of other companies, we only pray the routine repairs of the copper smelter to finish with ease.
 However, even if we get over 'the November crisis', from next year a 1,300,000 tonne/year of demand for sulfuric acid will newly come out for nickel smelting of Taganito and Coral bay which Sumitomo Metal Mining has developed in Philippines (*Taganito 700,000 tonne and Coral bay 600,000 tonne). The strain and crisis of the sulfuric acid supply seem to continue even after November.
(IRuniverse Susan)

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