Dow chlorinated solvents plant restart delayed by ‘serious issue’

12 June 2012 17:29  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--US-headquartered Dow Chemical’s chlorinated solvents plant in Stade, Germany, remains down following a maintenance turnaround that began in mid-April and was originally scheduled to last 45 days, a company source said on Tuesday.

The plant, which produces methylene chloride and chloroform, resumed operations for only a short period before ceasing production owing to unspecified technical problems, which were described as “a serious issue” by the company source.

No restart date was provided, but the source said the problem would not be resolved quickly.

There has been no declaration of force majeure, and the company is evaluating the situation, the source said.

The company source had previously said that the delayed restart of the plant had left the producer with tight inventories.

Customers had been placed on 70% allocation ahead of the shutdown to allow the producer to build its stocks.

Dow’s perchloroethylene plant at the same site has been experiencing technical problems for the past two weeks, compelling it to operate at low rates, the source said.

There was no estimate of when the problems at the perchloroethylene unit were likely to be resolved.

Dow has a nameplate production capacity of 90,000 tonnes/year of methylene chloride and chloroform, and 100,000 tonnes/year of perchloroethylene, at the Stade site, according to ICIS data.

Methylene chloride, the most widely used of the chlorinated solvents, has a variety of applications, such as paint and varnish removal, as an extraction medium/process solvent, and electronics and metal cleaning. Perchloroethylene is used mainly in the dry cleaning industry.

By: Samuel Weatherlake
+44 20 8652 3214

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