France's Arkema lifts force majeure on caustic soda supplies

17 April 2012 18:03  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--French specialty chemical producer Arkema has lifted force majeure on caustic soda supplies, a company source said on Tuesday.

The declaration was made in February, after cold weather conditions forced the shutdown of the company's electrolysis units at Jarrie (187,000 tonnes/year) and Fos-sur-Mer (330,000 tonnes/year), both in southern France.

The shutdown reduced the company’s caustic soda production in February by 50% year on year, restricting availability in the Mediterranean market.

Production at both sites restarted in mid-March, but the force majeure remained in place as the company aimed to increase production rates and inventory levels.

On 13 April, Arkema lifted force majeure on polyvinyl chloride (PVC) supplies from its 270,000–280,000 tonne/year Berre facility in southern France.

The force majeure declaration was a consequence of feedstock vinyl chloride monomer (VCM) scarcity, caused by an unplanned shutdown at the company’s VCM plant in nearby Fos-sur-Mer in February. Production at the VCM plant restarted in mid-March.

($1 = €0.76)

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By: Abache Abreu
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