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April 4, 2012
A fire broke out at Evonik’s CDT plant on the grounds of the Marl Chemicals Park at 1.40 p.m. on Saturday, March 31, 2012. We are deeply sorry that two members of our workforce lost their lives in the blaze. Evonik is supporting the authorities investigating the cause of the fire and has started its own examination through an independent expert. CDT (cyclododecatriene) serves as a starting material in plastics manufacturing. CDT is used to make laurolactam which, in turn, is used as a monomer in polyamide 12 (PA12). The incident therefore affects the VESTAMID®, VESTAMELT®, VESTOSINT®, and VESTENAMER® product families. Plastic parts made of PA12 are key components in automobile production, in the photovoltaic industry, and in offshore pipelines. Other major fields of application include the sporting-goods and household-goods industries. Evonik is one of the leading producers of PA12. At the moment we still do not have any indication as to the full extent of the damage. While we do expect there to be substantial constraints with respect to our ability to provide supplies of CDT-based products, we are nonetheless confident that we will be able to provide alternative solutions in the form of substitutes such as VESTAMID® Terra. It is possible to modify these biobased polymers as required for many of the relevant applications to achieve much the same material attributes as PA12. We are already making every effort to ensure the facility is repaired and running and that we will be able to re-establish full supply capability as soon as possible. There are no restrictions on the supply of non-laurolactam-based high-performance polymers: TROGAMID® (PA 6-3-T molding compounds), VESTAMID® HTplus (polyphthalamide), VESTODUR® (polybutylene terephthalate), VESTORAN® (modified polyphenylene ether) and VESTAKEEP® PEEK (polyetheretherketone).
Evonik, the creative industrial group from Germany, is one of the world leaders in specialty chemicals. Its activities focus on the key megatrends health, nutrition, resource efficiency and globalization. Profitable growth and a sustained increase in the value of the company form the heart of Evonik’s corporate strategy. Evonik benefits specifically from its innovative prowess and integrated technology platforms. Evonik is active in over 100 countries around the world. In fiscal 2011 more than 33,000 employees generated sales of around €14.5 billion and an operating profit (EBITDA) of about €2.8 billion.
In so far as forecasts or expectations are expressed in this press release or where our statements concern the future, these forecasts, expectations or statements may involve known or unknown risks and uncertainties. Actual results or developments may vary, depending on changes in the operating environment. Neither Evonik Industries AG nor its group companies assume an obligation to update the forecasts, expectations or statements contained in this release.