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Petrochemicals

Ascend to lift force majeure on HMD by end of Q1, ACN operations not impacted

Natural Gas | Oil

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Petrochemicals

Pemex to carry out Q3 turnaround at Cangrejera complex: source

Ascend to lift force majeure on HMD by end of Q1, ACN operations not impacted

Houston β€” Ascend Performance Materials is planning to lift its force majeure on hexamethylenediamine by the end of this quarter, a company spokeswoman said Friday.

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The company's acrylonitrile operations are not currently impacted, added VP of global communications and external communications Alison Jahn.

"As a result of events beyond the company's control, manufacturing delays arose as it completed projects in December to expand both adiponitrile and hexamethylenediamine," the company said in a January 7 statement. "While the company's ADN expansion is operational and meeting anticipated post-expansion rates, the HMD expansions have not yet met the company's targeted production rates. As a result, the company must declare force majeure."

While the statement also indicates the force majeure applies to "all Ascend polymers, compounds and fibers," Jahn clarified to say that both acrylonitrile (ACN) and adiponitrile (ADN) were not impacted by the force majeure.

"The FM applies only to HMD and nylon," Jahn said. "We expect to lift it at the end of the first quarter."

Recent market feedback pointed to ACN availability being impacted by the force majeure, due in part to the phrasing of "all Ascend compounds" in the company's official communications and ACN's status as an intermediate compound in industry nomenclature.

Jahn, however, confirmed the distinction in terminology while addressing the force majeure's application.

"For us, [all compounds is] polymer ... but there are many components to polymer," Jahn said. "Acrylonitrile is just one, adiponitrile is another. We have plenty of those in supply. Without HMD or with limited supplies of HMD, you can't get to the polymer.

"We are allocating HMD. We have it, but it's limited, which is why our polymer production is also limited and also on FM."

--Phillipe Craig, phillipe.craig@spglobal.com

--Edited by Derek Sands, derek.sands@spglobal.com

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