Arkema says Saint-Auban MCAA plant too small to keep open
17 March 2005 18:56 [Source: ICIS news]
PARIS (CNI)--French chemicals firm Arkema has deemed its Saint-Auban, France monochloroacetic acid (MCAA) plant as too small to keep open to save jobs, CNI learned Thursday.
At the Central Workers' Committee held yesterday at Arkema's headquarters, suggestions from trade union experts to keep the Saint-Auban site as operational as possible were discussed.
Arkema is planning to shut the mercury electrolysis, the trichloroethylene, vinyl chloride monomer
(VAM) and MCAA units at the site. Trade unions suggested retaining the MCAA plant, which would save 80 of the 380 jobs planned to be lost at the site.
However, Arkema said the 40,000 tonne/year plant is too small to compete with other producers in a market plagued with overcapacity.
The matter is due to be discussed further in three weeks' time at the next Central Workers' Committee meeting.
Arkema's senior management has also examined, as it had promised, the proposals made by the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence regional authorities for the future of the Saint-Auban site. Studies are underway into the feasibility of establishing two soap production plants near the site.
The company is also looking at a oxygenated solvent regeneration plant project in the region. Arkema's parent company Total might also be interested in a rapeseed diester production project.
The two industrial projects, one for polyurethane (PU) foam production and the other for a pilot plant to produce hydrogen from biomass are being studied by Total. More difficult to envisage, said Arkema, are the alternative proposals to a plan to improve the overall economic situation of the Saint-Auban site. By: Doris Leblond+44 20 8652 3214
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