The Urethane Blog

More Rhine River Impact

Low Rhine may affect Covestro PU business, operating rates cut

31 October 2018 12:43 Source:ICIS News

LONDON (ICIS)–Low Rhine water levels may affect Covestro’s polyurethane (PU) business, having already led to operating rates being reduced, according to a letter that was seen by ICIS on Wednesday.

However, the German seller informed its customers in the letter that it expects to be able to fulfil nearly all of its confirmed orders in the next few weeks in spite of a potential delay in supply in some cases.

“Many vessels transporting raw materials into our plants in North-Rhine-Westphalia are not allowed to operate anymore or need to operate with strongly reduced loads,” said the letter.

“Consequently, Covestro has started early to mitigate effects on its network by shifting as much supply as possible to other modes of transport and creating emergency supply routes.”

The letter does not mention the plants affected, and the company has declined to comment.

Covestro isocyanates and polyols plants that are near the River Rhine include its Uerdingen and Dormagen facilities in Germany as well as its Antwerp site in Belgium.

Polyols capacity is 270,000 tonnes/year at the Antwerp facility and 250,000 tonnes/year at the Dormagen site where there is also toluene di-isocyanate (TDI) production at 300,000 tonnes/year.

The company’s methyl di-p-phenylene isocyanate (MDI) capacity at Uerdingen is 200,000 tonnes/year.

These products are raw materials for PU foam.

By Pavle Popovic