10 December 2010 21:01 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS)--Lucite plans to restart production of methyl methacrylate (MMA) at its Beaumont facility in Texas during the 2011 first quarter amid a strong increase in global demand, the company said on Friday.
The plant was idled in December 2008, when demand had slowed during the global economic recession.
The company did not disclose capacity details. ICIS plants and projects last estimated the plant's capacity at 155,000 tonnes/year.
MMA has been tight globally throughout 2010 as a result of high demand, which sellers have attributed to restocking and growth in the downstream flat-panel screen market.
A series of unplanned production issues also impacted the market earlier this year when buyers were restocking.
“We have seen a strong increase in global demand for MMA, which has led us to restart production and invest to improve the efficiency of this key facility,” said Neil Sayers, president of Lucite Americas.
“Even though our initial production will be somewhat limited, it nevertheless marks a positive step for our employees, the local community and Lucite’s ability to better support our customers in the future.”
Lucite expects total headcount at its Beaumont facility to increase in 2011 to about 100 employees, it said.
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