US capro plant in Virginia back on stream - Honeywell

21 December 2010 22:58  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Honeywell’s caprolactam (capro) plant in Hopewell, Virginia, is operating at full rates about three weeks after an unplanned outage, the specialty chemicals producer said on Tuesday.

Restart of the 375,000 tonne/year plant began on 17 December, according to Honeywell spokesman Peter Dalpe. It was at full production by Monday, he added.

The plant was shut down in early December due to an undisclosed mechanical failure, the company said.

The outage led Honeywell to declare force majeure (FM) on capro produced at the site.

The outage further tightened domestic supply of capro, a primary nylon 6 feedstock, which has been constrained during much of the year on strong export demand.

One buyer said the nylon 6 resin market would not immediately see relief from capro shortages because the restart was so recent.

“Most producers of nylon 6 are still short of capro,” a buyer said, adding that Honeywell’s recent price-hike initiative of plus 10 cents/lb ($220/tonne, €167/tonne) for nylon 6 effective 10 January was not a surprise.

BASF announced a similar price effort in the previous week for its nylon 6 and nylon 6,66 resins, effective 3 January.

Fourth-quarter initiatives of plus-5 cents/lb for nylon 6 from BASF and Honeywell had begun to settle, some sources said, but a broad market consensus had yet to be reached. Both producers cited raw material cost pressure as the primary reason for all of the recent initiatives.

($1 = €0.76)

For more on Honeywell’s plants, visit ICIS plants and projects
For more on caprolactam visit ICIS chemical intelligence

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By: Larry Terry
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