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Nylon 12 shortage ending, Evonik ready to resume CDT production

By: Frank Esposito

December 4, 2012

ESSEN, GERMANY (Dec. 4, 3 p.m. ET) — Evonik Industries AG has completed repairs to its nylon 12 feedstock plant in Marl, Germany — less than eight months after a fatal explosion and fire there affected global supplies of nylon 12 resin.

The district government in Munster, Germany, has issued an operating permit for the site, officials with Essen-based Evonik announced on Dec. 4. Repair work at the site was completed by the end of November.

Production of nylon 12 feedstock cyclododecatriene (CDT) should resume by the end of December. Shipments of nylon 12 resin made from CDT produced in Marl are expected to go out in January.

A fire and explosion at the plant on March 31 resulted in the deaths of two workers. The explosion was caused by an overdosage of a catalyst used to make CDT, according to an independent investigation commissioned by Evonik. An investigation by the Essen attorney general’s office remains ongoing.

Evonik also implemented additional safety measures at the plant that had been recommended by an independent institute hired by the firm after the accident.

The accident led to severe tightness of CDT, causing companies throughout the automotive supply chain to scramble to find replacement materials. Nylon 12 is used extensively in automotive fuel lines and braking systems.

Evonik has annual sales of almost $19 billion. The firm employs more than 33,000 worldwide.