MOSCOW (MRC) -- Westlake Chemical, US petrochemical major, has regained access to industrial gases needed to operate its polyvinyl chloride (PVC) complexes in Plaquemine and Geismar, reported S&P Global with reference to sources familiar with the companies' operations.
That access, plus restoration of electric power, allowed the company to begin restart activities.
Those sources said the restarts would be gradual, as PVC complexes, shut on 29 August in advance of Hurricane Ida, involve multiple plants that have to be restarted one by one while checking for any storm-related, as-yet-undiscovered damage.
The company operates the following plants at these complexes:
- Geismar capacity (tonnes/year): 358,000 caustic soda, 320,000 chlorine, 550,000 EDC, 500,000 PVC, 385,000 vinyl chloride (VCM;
- Plaquemine capacity (tonnes/year): 476,000 caustic soda, 425,000 chlorine, 1.21m EDC, 895,000 PVC, 750,000 VCM.
Besides, Westlake Chemical declared force majeure (FM) on PVC and VCM supplies on August 31, 2021, and on caustic soda deliveries on September 2, 2021.
As MRC informed earlier, Westlake Chemical has lifted its FM on US PVC and upstream VCM, the company announced in a customer letter dated May 17. 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."
According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's overall production of unmixed PVC totalled 664,100 tonnes in the first eight months of 2021, up by 5% year on year. Three producers increased their output.
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.