France's Arkema restarts caustic soda production at Jarrie, Fos

14 March 2012 15:01  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Production at Arkema’s electrolysis units at Jarrie and Fos-sur-Mer in southern France has restarted, after a weather-related shutdown in February, a source at the French specialty chemical company said on Wednesday.

The company’s force majeure on caustic soda supplies is likely to remain in place for another week, as production rates have not yet reached optimum levels and inventories are low, the source said.

The shutdown reduced the company’s caustic soda production in February by 50% year on year.

While Arkema’s shutdown has limited the availability of caustic soda in the Mediterranean region, demand has softened, balancing market fundamentals.

Elsewhere, Dutch specialty chemicals producer AkzoNobel has implemented strict sales control on caustic soda because of supply constraints and upcoming maintenance.

AkzoNobel’s 750,000 tonne/year chlor-alkali facility in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, will be shut down during the last week of March and the first two weeks of April for regular maintenance.

The company’s 45,000 tonne/year pearl caustic soda facility in Frankfurt, Germany, will also be shut down in the last week of March for one week of maintenance.

Although the company aims to meet all contractual obligations, spot orders are unlikely to be accepted.

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By: Abache Abreu
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