US explosion to have minimal effect on acrylic acid - Arkema

11 December 2009 16:21  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS news)--Damage to an acrylic acid plant near Houston following a Wednesday explosion will curtail acrylic acid  production at the site until repairs are complete but customers will be supplied from inventory and alternate sources, the company said on Friday.

The American Acryl plant in Pasadena is a 50/50 joint venture with NA Industries, a subsidiary of Nippon Shokubai, and Arkema.

Mike Scott, general manager of acrylic monomers for Arkema, said the explosion and fire centred in a toluene storage tank in the plant’s acrylic acid purification unit. The plant’s butyl acrylate (butyl-A) ester unit was unaffected by the blast, he said.

Although two employees were sent to the hospital as a precaution following the accident, Scott said, they returned to work later the same day.

 “The investigation has just begun, and neither the cause nor the extent of repairs required has been determined,” Scott said. “There will be no acrylic acid production until repairs are complete.”

However, Scott said the outage would have only a minimal effect on the broader acrylic acid market and that there were no plans to implement sales controls at this time.

The plant, located in Pasadena, can produce 140,000 tonnes/year of crude acrylic acid, as well as glacial acrylic acid and butyl-A.

Other US acrylic acid producers include BASF, Dow Chemical and UCAR Emulsions Systems & Monomers.

For more on Arkema, visit ICIS company intelligence
For more on acrylic acid, visit ICIS chemical intelligence
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By: Larry Terry
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