UpdateJapan's Nippon Shokubai shutdown costing Y4.5bn/month

02 October 2012 14:53  [Source: ICIS news]

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TOKYO (ICIS)--Nippon Shokubai estimates the loss of profit from the shutdown of its fire-hit Himeji plant to be about yen (Y) 4.5bn/month ($58m/month), the Japanese chemical producer said on Tuesday.

“If we do not consider the compensation by the insurance, if all of the facilities at the Himeji plant [continue to be] shut, the loss of [business] chance [is estimated to be] Y150m per day (Y4.5bn in a month), and the cost for the repair of damaged facilities [is estimated at] about Y5bn, though we do not know clearly yet,” Nippon Shokubai said in Japanese, quoting the president, Masanori Ikeda, at a press conference in Osaka.

However, influences on product supply and the company’s financial results are still not known, Nippon Shokubai said.

All of the facilities at the Himeji site remain shut and the company said it did not know when the suspension order may be lifted, a company spokeswoman said on the phone.

The explosion on Saturday killed one firefighter and injured 36 others.

Five of those hurt had sustained serious injuries, the company said in a statement late on Tuesday. The casualties were firefighters, police officers and plant workers.

According to the Fire and Disaster Management Agency, a tank for the temporary storage of chemical waste, containing some acrylic acid, exploded due to an abnormal rise in its temperature, igniting adjacent acrylic acid and toluene tanks.

The cause of the explosion and fire was being investigated, the agency added.

Nippon Shokubai was ordered to halt all operations the site in Hyogo prefecture - including a 460,000 tonne/year acrylic acid unit and a 320,000 tonne/year unit for super absorbent polymer (SAP) - following the blast.

There was no leak of chemicals outside of the plant, Nippon Shokubai said.

($1 = Y78.02)

By: Tomomi Yokomura
+65 6780 4359

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