27 February 2014 17:46 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--Arkema’s chlor-alkali facility at Jarrie in France has experienced further technical problems and the existing force majeure on chlorine and caustic soda at the site is likely to remain in place until the end of March, the specialty chemicals producer said on Thursday.
The chloralkali production at the site was stopped on 20 February due to strike action, but the unit was down for longer than expected because of some technical issues that ensued during the restart phase and a few days of production were lost as result, said the company source.
This week, the facility underwent some further downtime for other technical reasons and it will need to be shut down in March for around one week so that some repair work can be carried out.
It is likely that the unit will be taken off line in week commencing 17 March, although this date has not yet been fully confirmed, added the company source who said it plans to continue production ahead of this repair work and build some stocks.
The chlorlalkali facility at Jarrie was originally taken down in October 2013 for a production technology upgrade. During the plant shutdown, Arkema converted the chlorine production at Jarrie from mercury cell to membrane technology for legal reasons.
The facility was initially due to resume output in early December, but the restart has been postponed several times since for technical reasons.
A force majeure was declared at the end of January on chlorine and caustic soda manufactured at the site because of a spate of technical difficulties and restart problems and low stock levels.
The Jarrie unit produces 74,000 tonnes/year of chlorine and 81,000 dry metric tonnes/year of caustic soda. Caustic soda is a co-product of chlorine in the electrolysis process.
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