EPCA ’12: No diaper crisis seen after Japan SAP plant blast

08 October 2012 12:44  [Source: ICIS news]

BUDAPEST (ICIS)--The shutdown of Nippon Shokubai’s acrylic acid and super absorbent polymer (SAP) plant at Himeji in Japan has so far had no impact in the diaper market and may prove to be a non-issue, a market source said on Monday.

SAP is used as a raw material in diaper production.

The plant, which supplied around 18% of the world’s 1.8m tonne/year SAP market, was shut down after an explosion on 29 September that killed a fire-fighter and left 35 other people injured.

The outage has not affected diaper supply and any eventual impact at this point would probably be limited to Asia, the source said on the sidelines of the European Petrochemical Association (EPCA) meeting in Budapest.

Nippon has 460,000 tonnes/year of acrylic acid capacity at Himeji and produces 320,000 tonnes/year of SAP at the site.

It is still unclear when production will be restarted, the source said, adding that process could be delayed because of investigations by the Japanese government.

The annual EPCA meeting runs from 6-10 October.

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By: William Lemos
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