Unexpectedly high flood peak blamed for length of Spolana closure

17 June 2013 17:06  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--The near two-month complete shutdown at Czech chemical producer Spolana was decided upon after the River Elbe flood culminated in a higher than expected wave, the company's owner, Poland's Anwil, said on Monday.

“It is crucial and an absolute priority to ensure that all flood effects have been identified and properly treated,” said Anwil spokesman Krzysztof Wojdylo, explaining why the force majeure period under which Spolana expects to be unable to deliver products was extended to at least 31 July from 20 June.

The flood was the worst faced by Spolana since 2002, when the company came under fire from environmental NGOs after the inundation caused the leakage of 80 tonnes of chlorine.

Prior to the latest flooding, Spolana - a producer of polyvinyl chloride (PVC), vinyl chloride monomer, caprolactam (capro) and caustic soda - on 3 June preventively shut down all its plants and moved production components and raw materials to secure areas.

During the flood emergency, Spolana's riverside production site in Neratovice, north of Prague, was visited by Czech environment minister Tomas Chalupa.

“The start-up of the plants is a very complex undertaking and requires absolute compliance with all the applicable procedures and regulations,” added spokesman Wojdylo.

Spolana's production installations include a 135,000 tonne/year PVC plant, a 40,000 tonne/year caprolactam (capro) plant and a 150,000 tonne/year caustic soda plant.

Two other chemical companies in the Czech Republic forced to cease production by the floods, epoxy resins producer Spolchemie and synthetic rubber producer Synthos, on 11 June announced that all the restarts of their production installations were complete.

The floods caused the loss of 10 lives in the Czech Republic and the evacuation of tens of thousands of people from their homes.

Additional reporting by Heidi Finch

By: Will Conroy
+44 20 8652 3214

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