JAPAN: Sumitomo closing caprolactam line as part of Ehime Works restructure

The closure, to take place by the end of 2015, includes the 95,000-t/y liquid-phase caprolactam production line.

"Its cost competitiveness is no longer as good as desired in terms of maintenance and repair work required," the company noted. The 85,000-t/y "highly-competitive" vapor-phase caprolactam production line at the site will remain in operation.

"In light of the prevailing globally competitive operating environment for caprolactam, driven by a number of capacity expansions coming on stream in emerging countries in recent years, as well as flagging market conditions, Sumitomo Chemical has been examining every possible way of strengthening the competitiveness of its caprolactam business. As a result, it has decided to improve the business structure by closing down the decades-long liquid-phase production line," Sumitomo explained.

Source: Weekly "PetroChemical News", Durham, NC, USA; 19 May 2014
(Syed Rashd Ali, Karachi, Pakistan)