Owner of the Evonik Industries AG plant, told that the plant, which produces PA-12, will be out of commission until at least October.
The plant was severely damaged in the explosion and fire from March 31st, setting off a mad scramble by global automakers to find substitute materials. Just as the U.S. auto sales recovery is accelerating, a shortage of the resin is threatening to cut global car and truck production. The plant produces at least a quarter of the world’s PA-12, used in fuel, brake lines and hundreds of other auto parts.
Although no carmaker reported any production slowdowns, if the industry won’t find a substitute, the problem could cause a shortage of some models similar to what happened after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan.
“In the present state of knowledge, the CDT plant is expected to be operational again in the fourth quarter of 2012,” Evonik said in a statement.
The company also added that it is offering customers substitute chemicals for PA-12 that do not require CDT and that it is checking with automakers to determine what’s suitable for fuel lines. Authorities continue the investigation to determine what caused the blast, which killed 2 workers.