Formosa Plastics Corp. USA has declared force majeure for polypropylene resin at its plant in Point Comfort, Texas — while already operating under similar conditions for high density polyethylene resin at the site.
In a June 11 letter to customers, Formosa polyolefins vice president and general manager Ken Mounger said that the firm’s PP units in Point Comfort “have experienced unplanned outages” and was declaring force majeure as a result.
“The quantity of [PP] product that will be allocated is under evaluation, and will be communicated as soon as this information is available,” Mounger said in the letter.
The outage comes at a time when U.S./Canadian PP demand is far from robust. Through April, regional PP sales were down more than 5 percent, according to the American Chemistry Council in Washington. A domestic drop of almost 4 percent was worsened by a drop of more than 37 percent in export sales in that four-month period.
Livingston, N.J.-based Formosa already was operating under force majeure for HDPE in Point Comfort after a May 2 fire at the site. Several workers were injured in that incident, which resulted in all three of the firm’s HDPE production lines being closed.
North American PE supply also has been impacted by force majeure conditions for the material at a plant operated by Chevron Phillips Chemical Co. in Baytown, Texas. The firm — based in The Woodlands, Texas — declared force majeure after a minor emissions event at the site on May 9 and 10.