18 June 2008 05:30 [Source: ICIS news]
SINGAPORE (ICIS news)--Korea Fine Chemical may have to reduce production rates at its 93,000 tonne/year toluene diisocyanates (TDI) facility at Yesou if the transport strike, which began early last week is not resolved soon, a company source said on Wednesday.
"Our plant is producing at 100% capacity now but we may have to reduce production if the strike drags on, because we don’t have enough storage space for the by-product hydrochloric acid," the source added.
"We have not been able to move our cargoes out (of the plant) since two weeks ago," he said.
The producer had been building up inventory since completing a four-week turnaround in late May, he added.
Another TDI producer, DC Chemical which operates a 50,000 tonne/year plant in Kunsan, shipped out some cargoes from Kwangyang port last week, as it had moved some of its produce to the port's container yard before the strike, a company source said.
"But we have nothing to export this week as all our products at the container yard have been shipped out, and we have not been able to move cargoes out of the plant since the strike," the source said, adding that it normally ships out 800 tonnes of material each week.
The producer was still running its plant at 100% capacity but could be forced to reduce production if the strike continued, the source said.
"Our feedstock (DNT) supplier located in Yeosu has been delivering cargoes to us through non-union trucks," the source said, adding that the deliveries were made under police escort.
A third TDI producer BASF Urethane Korea could not be reached for comment.
South Korea is a major regional TDI production base with a capacity of over 280,000 tonnes/year, exporting to markets such as China, Africa, the Middle East and southeast Asia.
TDI is a raw material used to make polyurethane foams for applications in various sectors, including furniture and automobiles.
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