Last week INDSPEC Chemical, an affiliate of Occidental Chemical Corp., announced that it was immediately ceasing production of resorcinol and related products at its Petrolia, Pennsylvania plant and that the plant would be shut down permanently by July 31, 2017. INDSPEC sold the Penacolite resins business in 2016 and agreed to continue manufacturing that product at the Petrolia plant for the transition period, which will cease at the end of July. The plant was not cost effective compared to global competitors.
“Our workers have made a significant effort over the last several years to improve the viability of the plant. Nevertheless, the outlook for the business continues to be unfavorable due to a number of factors including a global oversupply of our main product, resorcinol, and because INDSPEC’s manufacturing process is not as efficient as that of global competitors,” said Plant Manager Andre Salameh.”
Resorcinol is a crucial component of adhesion promoters, which are used in tires (specifically the belt plies, bead, and bead apex) to improve adhesion between the rubber layers and textile or steel reinforcements. Resorcinol is also used in manufactured wood products and flame retardants.
The shut down has left customers scrambling to find supplies. Other suppliers of resorcinol for rubber markets include Isochem (Germany), Kolon Industries (Korea), Lanxess (Germany), SI Group (US), Shanghai Amino-Chem (China), Sino Legend (China), and Sumitomo Chemical (Japan)