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Breda district court orders liquidation of Thermphos

 Thermphos International
November 25, 2012
On November 21, Breda District Court ordered the liquidation of Thermphos International B.V. This means that after 44 years, the production of phosphorus in Vlissingen-Oost has come to an end, at least for now. Though shaken, director Rob de Ruiter is not giving up the fight, saying “Obviously, my thoughts are now with my colleagues who have put their hearts and souls into Thermphos. I will keep fighting for a restart of Thermphos - the interests at stake are too great not to”. The liquidation of Thermphos means that Europe’s last producer of phosphorus has now left the stage, for the time being at least.  

However, this does not mean that all activities will immediately be brought to a halt. “We will finish up our remaining stocks of phosphate ore in good order and continue to supply our subsidiaries, which manufacture intermediates from the phosphorus”, explains de Ruiter. “It will be a couple of months before ‘the pipeline’ is truly empty. In the mean time, we will implement the supervised deactivation of the production plants. We will need at least 3 to 4 weeks to do this in a safe and responsible manner”.  

The Dutch Employee Insurance Agency UWV has been notified of the dismissal of the Thermphos Vlissingen employees. Pending the termination of their contracts they will remain at work. Until the moment of their actual dismissal, they will receive their salaries via the UWV. In the coming days, the UWV will explain the consequences of their dismissal to the employees.  

Breda District Court has appointed bankruptcy trustees to liquidate the assets and settle the liabilities of the insolvent company. They are expressly working on a possible Thermphos restart and are holding discussions with potential takeover partners. At present no comment is being made regarding the status or outcome of these discussions. Director Rob de Ruiter remains hopeful of the possibility of a restart, saying “I believe in our ambition of becoming the world’s first ‘phosphorus-from-waste’ producer. It is in all of our interests to make the recycling of phosphate a reality and to prevent both the Netherlands and Europe from becoming entirely dependent on countries such as Kazakhstan”.
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Thermphos is a Dutch manufacturer and supplier of Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate in granular and powder form, a common additive in the production of french fries.
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