Issue Date: April 3, 2017
Resorcinol plant to close
Indspec Chemical, the only U.S. producer of the chemical intermediate resorcinol, has ceased production of resorcinol and related products at its Petrolia, Pa., facility and will close the plant on July 31. About 220 workers are affected. Plant Manager Andre Salameh says employees tried to improve the plant’s viability in recent years but couldn’t overcome marketplace oversupply and a less-efficient manufacturing process than that of global competitors. Indspec, a unit of Occidental Chemical, produces resorcinol by sulfonating benzene. Competitors such as Japan’s Sumitomo Chemical use the meta-diisopropylbenzene peroxidation process. One competitor, China’s Shanghai Amino-Chem, started production in 2009. Today, according to the market research firm IHS Markit, Amino-Chem has 36% of global capacity, compared with 27% for Sumitomo and 23% for Indspec. IHS estimates global consumption of resorcinol at 50,000–55,000 metric tons per year.
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