June 1, 2011
To: Clean Agent Fire Equipment Distributors, Consultants, AHJs, Users and Customers
From: Al Thornton, Global Market Manager, Fire Extinguishants
Subject: DuPont™ FE™ Fire Extinguishants
In a January 2011 letter, we discussed the challenging supply situation currently facing the fluorochemical industry, our DuPont™ FE™ Fire Extinguishants, and specifically our FM-200® clean extinguishing agent. To date we have continued to honor the earlier allocation commitments made to our OEM customers and have worked diligently to support them with additional volume of FM-200® extinguishing agent in excess of those allocations to seek to meet their ongoing market demand. While the volume of FM-200® provided to the market in 2011 is comparable to historical levels, it continues to be insufficient to meet the current high global demand for our product.
DuPont continues to manufacture FM-200® at both manufacturing sites at production rates close to or even exceeding previous years, but the limited supply of raw material constrains our ability to exceed the current production rates from these facilities. We are closely coordinating delivery schedules with our OEM customers to provide the least possible disruption to their clients and markets. With this control on FM-200® deliveries, many of our OEM customers are facing difficult decisions regarding FM-200® shipments and extending lead times for customer deliveries.
In some markets these supply issues are being used to establish rumors of a DuPont withdrawal from the Fire Extinguishing business. Nothing could be further from the truth. DuPont remains committed to serving and supporting the Clean Agent Fire Extinguishing market with fast, safe, and effective waterless fire extinguishing agents as we have been doing for more than 50 years.
Despite the current supply constraints, the demand for FM-200® continues to grow, highlighting the market’s preference for the overall value of FM-200® over other fire suppression options. DuPont is committed to working to overcome our supply limitations to support this growing demand for the world’s most used clean agent fire extinguishant.
As we continue to work on expanding our supply to the market, keep in mind that the future outlook for our FE Extinguishing business continues to be excellent. The recently released HEEP report on HFC Emissions in Fire Protection documents a 27% decrease in GWP weighted emissions for 2009 and a 32% decrease since 2007, in spite of the steadily growing number of protected facilities and installations. This further validates the industry’s position that HFC fire systems are not significant contributors to global warming and greenhouse gas emissions.
Many of the regulatory uncertainties that have clouded the fire sector are satisfactorily clearing. The confusing regulatory landscape surrounding HFCs and global warming is coalescing and we see progress toward an acceptable HFC management program under the Montreal Protocol. The growing acceptance of HFC alternatives for mobile air conditioning and foam expansion agents may replace at least half of the global HFC usage, providing sufficient remaining production for vital, non emissive, applications, such as Fire Protection. DuPont is a market-driven science company, creating sustainable solutions essential to a better, safer, healthier life for people everywhere. FM-200® and the DuPont™ FE™ Fire Extinguishing Agents remain a core part of that vision.
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