Arkema: Proposed consolidation of the Methyl Methacrylate / Polymethyl Methacrylate activity

26-Jun-2009 - France

Arkema and its subsidiary Altuglas International presented to their respective Central Works Councils plans for the reorganization of both the Arkema Carling site and the Altuglas International PMMA Sheet business.

Arkema produces methyl methacrylate (MMA) at its European sites of Carling (France / Moselle) and Rho (Italy), which is supplied to external customers and is used by its subsidiary Altuglas International to manufacture polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA). Altuglas International operates PMMA production plants in Europe, North America, and Korea.

MMA worldwide production capacities have increased significantly in recent years, particularly in Asia, which is having a structural effect on the balance of the market and on export outlets for European plants. Accordingly, Arkema, which is committed to securing the long-term future of its methacrylics activity, plans to shut down its Carling plant to concentrate MMA production on its Rho site in Italy, which is much more efficient.

Meanwhile the Carling facility would be reorganized around its acrylics activity, and would benefit from proposed investments of some € 40 M to strengthen its acrylic acid, acrylic esters, and cationic monomer plants over the long term. These investments would complement current capital expenditure of some € 25 M, in particular for 2-ethyl hexyl acrylate production and for the superabsorbent plant operated on behalf of Sumitomo Seika.

As regards PMMA, Altuglas International plans to refocus its European business on greater added value Sheet products by reducing the activity of its Bernouville site (France / Eure) which is structurally loss-making, and by consolidating its Carling Saint-Avold logistics set-up.

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