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Argentina MTBE-maker Carboclor hit by plant blockade after firing workers

http://www.chemnet.com   Jul 14,2017 Platts
Carboclor, a maker of octane booster methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) and other products in Argentina, said Thursday labor union members have set up a blockade in front of its complex in Campana, Buenos Aires province after the loss-making company fired 128 workers.

The protesters "have blocked the access of personnel to the Campana plant and also the entrance and exit of trucks," the company said in a filing with the Buenos Aires Stock Exchange.

Carboclor sacked the workers as part of restructuring process after four straight years of financial losses.

The company filed for bankruptcy protection in December and a national court accepted the request in February. It is now working on pulling out of its financial crisis with the Ministry of Labor and Social Security, according to the statement.

As part of the process, it said in May it would close its Campana plants for making oxygenated solvents and aliphatic and aromatic solvents, and refocus its business on storage and logistics at its port terminal.

According to company data, Carboclor has capacity to produce 151,600 mt/year of products, including 33,000 mt/year of MTBE, 45,400 mt/year of isopropyl alcohol (IPA) and 13,000 mt/year of secondary butyl alcohol (SBA).

Its losses widened to Pesos 266.9 million ($15.8 million) in 2016 from 68.5 million in 2015, and it lost another Pesos 27.2 million in the first quarter of 2017, according to company data.

Uruguay's state oil company ANCAP indirectly controls Carboclor, while the rest is traded publicly. ANCAP has said it wants to sell its 75% indirect stake in the company.
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