France's Arkema shuts DOP, PA units ahead of schedule

06 February 2014 11:10 Source:ICIS News

LONDON (ICIS)--French producer Arkema closed down its Chauny dioctyl phthalate (DOP) and phthalic anhydride (PA) units last month, ahead of their scheduled closure in March, a company source said on Thursday.

The Chauny site produces 70,000 tonnes/year of DOP and 90,000 tonnes/year of PA, according to the source.

“There is now no production at Chauny and we are in the process of cleaning the site,” the source said. “We shut the plant a little earlier because of market conditions and also because we have built up enough DOP inventory for our medical grade customers.”

The source could not comment on future plans for the Chauny site. Arkema announced last year it would stop operations at Chauny by March 2014, citing a decline in market demand for its products and what it identified as “substantial overcapacity” in Europe.

DOP has been included in the EU Candidate List and is likely to be phased out by February 2015 under the EU chemicals regulation programme REACH (the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals).

Poland’s Zaklady Azotowe Kedzierzyn (ZAK) operates a 60,000 tonne/year DOP plant in Kedzierzyn-Kozle, while Deza’s plant in Valasske Mezirici, Czech Republic, has a nameplate capacity of 50,000 tonnes/year.

By Renee Lawrence