Feedstock, Olefins and Aromatics
France's Arkema declares force majeure on DOP supplies
LONDON (ICIS)--France’s Arkema has declared force majeure on 100% of its dioctyl phthalate (DOP) production after failing to restart its unit in Chauny, northern France, a company source said on Wednesday.
The restart operations did not succeed because of the exceptionally cold temperatures in the region, the source said.
“[We] are in the process of warming the unit to restart as soon as possible, but the ongoing cold weather makes it impossible to forecast [a restart day],” the source added.
The producer of vinyl products, industrial chemicals and performance products reported technical problems at its DOP facility last week.
Arkema’s phthalic anhydride (PA) units are not affected by the force majeure.
Availability in the European DOP market has been affected by the shutdown because European inventories are very low, as manufacturers have reduced their DOP production capacity in response to regulatory pressures and shrinking demand.
However, buyers have had no difficulties in acquiring the material they need.
DOP is widely used as a plasticiser in manufacturing PVC products, but will be phased out by the EU by February 2015 unless an application for authorization is made before July 2013 and subsequently granted.
Last week prices increased by €40/tonne, in line with price hikes in the upstream orthoxylene (OX) and propylene markets