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Business

U.S. Diaper Material Facility Restarts

by Jean-François Tremblay
December 17, 2012 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 90, ISSUE 51

Japan’s Nippon Shokubai has restarted a U.S. superabsorbent polymers plant. The move comes as Shokubai, the world’s largest producer of the disposable diaper ingredient, is struggling to supply customers after a fatal accident in September that indefinitely shut down its main facility in Himeji, Japan. The restarted facility, in Chattanooga, Tenn., has 40,000 metric tons per year of capacity; it was closed this summer after the firm opened a 60,000-metric-ton plant at the same site. Capacity of the Himeji facility is 320,000 metric tons. Shokubai says Japanese authorities have cleared it to restart some operations in Himeji but not production of acrylic acid-based products such as superabsorbent polymers.

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