Issue Date: October 26, 2009
Companies Step In After DuPont Shutdown
A second chemical maker is stepping in to fill the gap being left by DuPont’s shutdown of its chlorosulfonated polyethylene plant in Beaumont, Texas, this year. Next month, a new company called JTD Elastomer will open a semicommercial plant in China’s Jiangsu province with capacity to produce about 1,500 metric tons of the elastomer per year. The firm plans to increase capacity to 4,500 metric tons by the first quarter of 2010 and 9,000 metric tons by the end of 2011. Lianda, an Ohio-based company that will distribute JTD’s output in North America, says the plant will not use carbon tetrachloride as a solvent. The need for CCl4 is one reason that DuPont cited for shutting its facility. Japan’s Tosoh, the world’s only other large producer of chlorosulfonated polyethylene, recently said it would spend $34 million to boost capacity to 8,500 metric tons by August 2010 (C&EN, Oct. 19, page 18). Lianda says the capacity added by JTD and Tosoh will make up for the loss of the DuPont facility. Lianda also represents a Chinese firm that calls itself the world’s largest producer of chlorinated polyethylene. Dow Chemical shut the only U.S. chlorinated polyethylene plant earlier this year.
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