Unexpected outage at AkzoNobel's Botlek caustic soda plant

01 September 2011 14:12  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--AkzoNobel’s caustic soda plant in Botlek, the Netherlands, shut down unexpectedly two to three weeks ago, a company source said on Thursday.

Although the operating rates were said to be “significantly reduced”, all contractual obligations are being met from the 715,000 tonne/year site.

It is estimated that the unscheduled maintenance will continue “for another week or two”, the source added.

Caustic soda producers are concerned at the margin levels and talk of a balanced to snug market moving forward into the fourth quarter, given production schedules and continued demand for export business to the US. Most indicate an increase will be sought for quarterly prices and one manufacturer said “it is not a matter or if, but how much”.

The Netherlands-based specialty chemical producer’s outage is in addition to two other planned maintenance schedules from producers in September and October.

In the last week of September/early October, German PVC producer Vinnolit has planned maintenance at its 275,000 tonne/year unit in Knapsack, Germany.

French specialty chemical producer Arkema is scheduled to shut down its 190,000 tonne/year unit in Jarrie, France, in October.

A couple of other producers talk about reduced operating rates because of poor demand from the chlorine and other derivative sectors.

Manufacturers said a decision about fourth-quarter pricing will be made in two to three weeks.

For more on caustic soda visit ICIS chemical intelligence 

Please visit the complete ICIS plants and projects database

By: Jane Massingham
+44 20 8652 3214

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