DUPONT FIRE SLOWS PRODUCTION

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A May 7 fire at a DuPont Engineering Polymers chemical plant in Orange, Texas, will curtail availability of the company's Zytel-brand and Minlon-brand nylon engineering resins.

The plant produces hexamethylenediamine, a key intermediate in the production of Zytel and Minlon.

According to Diane Gulyas, DuPont's global director of Zytel, the fire was the result of a ruptured pump.

The blaze lasted about 10 minutes, and was extinguished when employees who were exiting the plant were able to stop the flow of material to the fire.

The plant will be repaired in five to six weeks.

Until then, the company will experience a 45 percent reduction in availability of uncompounded products and 30 percent reduction in availability of compounded products, Gulyas said.

DuPont officials said no one was injured in the fire, which officials claim produced no adverse environmental impact.

The Orange plant is the largest of six HMD plants that DuPont operates worldwide. Others will be operating at higher-than-normal production rates until Orange is back on line, Gulyas said.

HMD and adepic acid are the two major intermediaries used in nylon production.

Late last month, DuPont had announced Zytel and Minlon price increases of 6-10 percent effective June 1.