Feedstock shortage shuts down Lucite US MMA plant in Tennessee

05 May 2011 19:56  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Flooding along the Mississippi river has further disrupted the feedstock supply used to make methyl methacrylate (MMA) at Lucite’s plant in Memphis, Tennessee, forcing the facility to shut down for two weeks, the company said on Thursday.

Lucite previously declared force majeure (FM) on MMA on 21 April because of supply disruptions of a key feedstock at the plant.

Lucite did not identify the feedstock nor the company that supplies it.

However, bad weather has extended the shutdown of a third-party supplier’s plant by approximately two weeks. As a result, Lucite said that it would be unable to meet allocation levels last communicated to customers.

MMA shipments scheduled to leave Lucite on or before Saturday will be made. However, shipments will otherwise cease for two weeks as of 8 May, the company told customers.

MMA is a key raw material in the production of normal butyl methacrylate, iso-butyl methacrylate, ethyl methacrylate and 2-ethyl hexyl methacrylate. As a result, supplies of these products also will cease for approximately two weeks, according to the company.

Lucite said it would revise allocation levels for all affected products following the restart of MMA production at its Memphis plant.

Most US plants manufacture MMA from acetone cyanohydrin. The acetone cyanohydrin route uses acetone, methanol, hydrocyanic acid and natural gas as its raw materials.

MMA is used in many applications such as paint and coatings, adhesives, inks and acrylic sheet and polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA).

By: Heather McGuire Doyle
+1 713 525 2653

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