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Japan Disaster – Plants update

Business, Japan, Polyolefins
By John Richardson on 16-Mar-2011

By Malini Hariharan

More companies are reporting damages to facilities after last week’s earthquake and tsunami.

Mitsubishi Chemical said in a statement that berths, roads and infrastructure around the plant area at its Kashima site have been damaged and delivery or shipment of cargo “would be next to impossible”.

“Restoration of capabilities will take quite some time,” it added.

Infrastructure at its subsidary Japan Polypropylene’s facility at Kashima has been hit.

“Basic infrastructure at the site is badly damaged and we’ll need time to restore that, but damage at the PP plants may not be as serious,” a company source informed ICIS news.

The company has a total PP capacity of 346,000 tonnes/year at the site. It has also had to shut down its PP plants at Goi after a fire in a neighbouring refinery run by Cosmo Oil.

Mitsubishi Gas Chemical said the building and equipment at a plant in Fukushima prefecture has been damaged by the earthquake and that operations have been suspended. The plant produces materials for printed wiring boards for use in smartphones and other consumer electronics and makes up to 60% of the global market for wiring-board materials.

Major Japanese electronic companies are said to be struggling with power blackouts and production has been suspended at a number of plants across the country.

Worries about supply-chain disruptions are mounting especially in the electronics and automotive sectors and some Asian businesses have slowed down production.

The impact of this should work its way up to petrochemicals in the coming weeks.