Rhodia completes phenol-acetone expansion in Brazil

15 May 2012 17:15  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Rhodia has completed an expansion of its phenol-acetone plant in Paulinia, Sao Paulo, southeast Brazil, a company executive said on Tuesday.

The expansion, which raised phenol capacity to more than 250,000 tonnes/year from 227,000 tonnes/year, was started up in mid-April, said Vincent Kamel, president of Rhodia’s Coatis oxygenated solvents and phenol-based products business.

“We are running at full rates,” Kamel said, noting that output is slightly exceeding the 250,000 tonnes/year design capacity.

Acetone capacity was raised to 150,000 tonnes/year from 135,000 tonnes/year, he said.

The expansion will mainly meet rising demand for phenol in Latin America. The phenol market there is estimated at about 200,000 tonnes, and is growing at about 4% per year, according to Rhodia, which has been owned by Belgium-based Solvay since September 2011.

That means that about 8,000 tonnes of new phenol capacity will be needed each year, said Kamel. “So probably in the next two to three years we will be adding capacity again,” he added.

Phenol’s main uses are in the production of bisphenol A (BPA) and phenolic resins.

By: Anna Jagger
+44 20 8652 3214

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