24 November 2003 00:00 [Source: ICB Americas]In the face of an oversupplied mar-ket, industry leader Sunoco Chemi-cals has mothballed the phenol one line at its Haverhill, Ohio, facility. The company has two lines that re-main in production in Ohio and ano-ther plant in Frankford, Pa., that to-gether represent a nameplate capa- city of 1.8 billion pounds.
Sunoco says the decision to mothball the line, its most inefficient, will allow it to maximize production at its remaining lines at Haverhill. The company plans to retrofit line one at Haverhill and restart it when the market requires further capacity. In addition, the remaining lines at Haverhill and Frankford have cost-effective expansion capabilities, according to Sunoco.
The global phenol business has been oversupplied since a round of capacity additions came on stream in 2000. The industry has been slow to absorb the new capacity, and operating rates have been hovering in the mid-80 percent range. The one bright spot for the phenol industry has been the wood products sector, which has seen significant growth thanks to the prolonged housing boom in North America.
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