FRANCE: Arkema is planning to shut down its R134a refrigerant plant at Pierre-Bénite, France, at the beginning of next year.
Faced with an expected decline in demand for R134a under the European MAC Directive, which bans the use of the refrigerant in all new cars, the French refrigerant manufacturer is proposing to close the plant in the first quarter of 2017.
In a statement yesterday the company said: “The R134a market in Europe is set to undergo an inevitable decline from 1st January 2017 following regulatory changes affecting fluorinated gases for automotive air conditioning taking effect on that date. In this sharply declining market, Arkema has decided to put forward to the central works council today a project for the closure of the R134a fluorogas plant at its Pierre-Bénite site (France). This proposed closure would not result in any redundancies.”
The automotive air conditioning market is said to be the main outlet for Arkema’s R134a business in Europe.
Following the plant closure, Arkema says it will focus its refrigerant activities at the Pierre-Bénite site on the production of other fluorinated refrigerants and blends for the stationary air conditioning and refrigeration markets.