MOSCOW (MRC) -- Westlake Chemical, US petrochemical major, has lifted its force majeure (FM) on US polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and upstream vinyl chloride monomer (VCM), the company announced in a customer letter dated May 17 and seen by S&P Global.
The letter said the company was "formally lifting the systemwide force majeure condition for PVC and VCM manufactured and shipped from its North American operations that was originally declared on Feb. 19" as a result of mid-February's deep freeze that "resulted in a shutdown/curtailment of our plant operations."
The winter storm brought sustained subfreezing temperatures to the US Gulf Coast and much of the US, forcing widespread petrochemical shutdowns that included at least 57% of US PVC capacity.
As MRC informed earlier, Westlake Chemical also declared FM on Aug. 31, 2020, for all its North American PVC and VCM, which left it in force in mid-October, 2020. Westlake's shutdown of its Lake Charles complex has idled 38% of its US VCM production, resulting in two VCM plants with a combined capacity of 952,318 mt/year going offline. The complex also has three upstream chlor-alkali plants with a combined capacity of 1.27 million mt/year of chlorine and 1.36 million mt/year of caustic soda - 46% of the company's overall North American chlor-alkali capacity.
According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's overall PVC production reached 346,100 tonnes in the first four months of 2021, down 1% year on year. All producers decreased production volumes over the reported period, with the exception of the Bashkir Soda Company.
Westlake Chemical Corporation is an international manufacturer and supplier of petrochemicals, polymers and building products with headquarters in Houston, Texas. The company's range of products includes: ethylene, polyethylene, styrene, propylene, chlor-alkali and derivative products, PVC suspension and specialty resins, PVC Compounds, and PVC building products including siding, pipe, fittings and specialty components, windows, fence, deck and film.