17 February 2012 13:30 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--France’s Arkema will restart dioctyl phthalate (DOP) production at Chauny, France, by the end of this weekend after technical problems forced a shutdown in the week ending 3 February, a company source said on Friday.
The company declared force majeure on 100% of its DOP production last week, following a failed restart attempt at the unit in northern France. The outage was caused by exceptionally cold weather.
“Temperatures dropped suddenly, so we were left with frozen pipes, and it takes a long time to restart," the source said. "Temperatures have increased this week, so the situation is more or less under control."
Arkema is the largest DOP producer in the European market, so the outage has tightened supplies and allowed producers to implement greater increases than those needed to offset the February raw material price hikes.
Europe DOP margins at the end of 2011 were almost at production cost levels, as regulatory pressure coupled with depressed economic conditions shrunk demand, preventing producers from pricing their product according to upstream developments.
($1 = €0.76)
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