31 March 2011 00:11 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS)--Celanese told customers of vinyl acetate monomer (VAM) that the company was extending a force majeure (FM) into regions in Europe and Asia because of problems at its plant in Nanjing, China, according to a letter obtained on Wednesday.
In a letter dated 25 March, Celanese said a “temporary operational disruption at our Nanjing acetic acid plant has necessitated an extension of our previously announced China allocation and force majeure into the European and Asia outside of China regions.”
The letter said Celanese was trying to supply customers with 100% of forecasted volumes but, if it had to declare a global FM, VAM deliveries might be affected and customers would be notified of their allocation percentages.
Market sources earlier this week told of receiving letters about the force majeure but with different information than the one obtained on Wednesday.
Sources at a Texas chemical conference said Celanese had declared FM not only on European VAM but also on acetic acid, ethyl acetate and other related products and, in a customer letter, provided allocation percentages for May and June.
Also, Celanese notified European customers by letter of price increases to take effect on 1 April as a result of the force majeure, sources said.
A Celanese spokesman said the company did not comment on the operational status of its manufacturing facilities.
Last week, market sources said Celanese had restarted operations at its 1.2m tonne/year acetic acid facility at Nanjing in China on the 17-18 March and that the plant was running at 80% capacity.
Market sources also said that Celanese’s 300,000 tonne/year VAM plant in Nanjing would remain shut until acetic acid production was stable. Acetic acid is a major feedstock for VAM.
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