Resin makers Dow Chemical Co. and DAK Americas Inc. are reacting to supply disruptions caused by Hurricane Katrina.
Midland, Mich.-based Dow has declared force majeure for polypropylene resins made at its plant in Hahnville, La. The Sept. 2 move affects about 30 grades of PP made in Hahnville, covering almost 40 percent of Dow's annual North American capacity, officials said in a news release.
Production at the plant was idled beginning Aug. 27 as a precaution against the storm, which hit the Gulf Coast on Aug. 29, leaving a trail of devastation that flooded New Orleans and a death toll expected to reach into the thousands.
Although Dow's plant equipment in Hahnville suffered ``no material damage,'' the company said, the region's logistics infrastructure was disrupted.
``At this time, we are unable to ship polypropylene from [the site], and we cannot speculate on how long this situation will last,'' North American PP director Todd Prey said.
``We will return to normal activities as soon as it is safe and responsible to do so.''
Charlotte, N.C.-based DAK also declared force majeure for its PET resin and fiber products, effective Sept. 1. Although DAK's facilities are not in the Gulf region, several of its key raw materials suppliers have closed plants because of hurricane damage, officials said in a Sept. 2 news release.
DAK's transportation services for its materials also have been affected.
``Until these disruptions subside, we will be forced to allocate our diminished supply of products and to pass on the price increases we are experiencing,'' officials said. ``We are working to respond to the difficulties imposed on us by the hurricane in a fair and reasonable manner.''
Elsewhere in the Gulf Coast region, PP maker Pinnacle Polymers of Garyville, La., restarted production Sept. 4 after regaining power Aug. 31 and after an adjacent Marathon Oil refinery that supplies Pinnacle with propylene feedstock was restarted.
Pinnacle President and Chief Operating Officer Jerry Theys said both production units now are running at the 900 million-pound-capacity plant.