Spain: FMC Announces Closure of Foret

FMC Corporation announced that it will cease operations at its Foret phosphates plant in Huelva, Spain, by December 31, 2010.  The closure is due to a Spanish judicial ruling that prohibits Foret from adding gypsum to storage stacks near the Huelva site after that date.  Gypsum is a byproduct of phosphoric acid production at the front end of the plant.  Phosphoric acid is used to make sodium and calcium phosphates, including sodium tripolyphosphate (STPP, a key builder for detergents) at the back end of the Huelva plant. Foret has challenged the judicial ruling in the Spanish courts and although the case is now in the appeals stage, a final judgment could take up to three years.  According to FMC Foret sources, the company has pursued access to a long-term supply of phosphoric acid to maintain back-end operations at the plant, but has been unable to secure a viable supply.  FMC Foret is a wholly owned subsidiary of FMC Corporation, a diversified chemical company serving agricultural, industrial and consumer markets. The latter is headquarted in Philadelphia,  USA; they employ some 4,800 people throughout the world, and they had gross revenues of US$2.826 in 2009, compared to US$3.115 billion in 2008.

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