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Three chemical firms are cutting capacity because of difficult market conditions. BASF says it will gradually reduce European capacity for the nylon 6 precursor caprolactam by 100,000 metric tons over the next 18 months. About 80 employees at the site in Ludwigshafen, Germany, will get other jobs. In 2013, the firm reduced capacity for the nylon 6,6 precursor adipic acid for similar reasons. “Adapting to demand trends,” Evonik Industries says it has reduced production of superabsorbent polymers by a total of 40,000 metric tons in Garyville, La., and Greensboro, N.C. The firm expects to restart the idled lines in a year or two. Finally, because of regulatory changes in the European market for automotive air-conditioning fluids, Arkema plans to close its hydrofluorocarbon (HFC)-134a plant in Pierre-Bénite, France, in the first quarter of 2017. About 38 employees will move to other jobs.
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