France's Arkema delays restart of Jarrie chloralkali plant

20 December 2013 17:37 Source:ICIS News

LONDON (ICIS)--France-based speciality chemicals producer Arkema will further postpone the start-up of its caustic soda unit in Jarrie, France, until 19-20 January after encountering technical problems, a company source said on Friday.

Arkema had shut the plant in October to upgrade the site’s production technology. The facility was originally due to restart in early December, but had then been delayed to mid-December and then again until early January for technical reasons.

However, the start-up has since been postponed further until mid-January as technical difficulties have become more pronounced.

Contracts are expected to be covered until the restart date based on some existing stocks, added the company source.

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.

During the plant closure, Arkema will convert the chlorine production in Jarrie from mercury cell to membrane technology for legislative reasons.

By Heidi Finch