Rhodia maintains force majeure on adipic acid after Rhine closure

21 January 2011 11:08  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Rhodia has maintained its declaration of force majeure (FM) on supplies of adipic acid and other intermediates from its 300,000 tonne/year plant at Chalampe, France, following logistics problems caused by the closure of a section of the river Rhine, the company said on Friday.

In a press release, Rhodia said that it had not yet recovered “the full ability to serve its customers consecutively” since it declared force majeure on 8 December 2010. 

“We are not able to lift the force majeure on adipic acid or downstream products,” a company source said.

The closure of a section of the river Rhine in Germany last week, after a ship that was carrying sulphuric acid capsized, has disrupted navigation traffic on the waterway, which has exacerbated shortages of raw materials, according to Rhodia's press release.

As of 20 January, shipping authorities in Germany started to allow the limited passage of single vessels on the river.

Rhodia had originally intended to lift the force majeure over the Christmas holiday period.

“The situation is seriously aggravating and puts the industry in a calamitous position,” said another Rhodia source.

The force majeure has also affected downstream H salt (a by-product of adipic acid) and nylon 6,6.

Adipic acid is used in nylon 6,6 fibres and resins, which account for nearly 65% of the product's output. It is also used to produce polyurethanes and as a reactant to form plasticisers, lubricant components and polyester polyols.

Most adipic acid production is carried out by the liquid phase nitric acid oxidation of KA oil, a cyclohexanon-cyclohexanol mix.

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By: Julia Meehan
+44 20 8652 3214

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