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Petrochemicals

Weather woes trip up output at chemical firms

by Michael McCoy
March 15, 2019 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 97, ISSUE 11

 

Unexpected weather conditions in the US have led at least three chemical producers to declare force majeure, a clause in supply contracts freeing companies from meeting delivery commitments. Most recently, the nylon producer AdvanSix declared force majeure as a result of shortages and delivery delays for cumene. Deliveries of the raw material are crimped by what the firm calls “weather-related logistics disruptions in the Gulf Coast area and supplier operational constraints.” AdvanSix says its first-quarter income will be reduced by up to $10 million as a result. Meanwhile, another nylon producer, Ascend Performance Materials, said late last month that it has extended force majeure on the raw material hexamethylene diamine as well as all polymers, compounds, and fibers. “Persistent fog followed by historic rainfall and flooding in the Tennessee River Valley restricted transportation,” cutting feedstock supply to an Ascend facility, the firm says. Also last month, Altivia declared force majeure at its Haverhill, Ohio, facility, where it makes phenol, acetone, and α-methylstyrene. The firm cited high water levels on the Ohio River that rendered its docks inoperable.

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