Resin plants operated on Mississippi's Gulf Coast by GE Plastics and Wellman Inc. remain idled almost three weeks after Hurricane Katrina, with company officials unsure when the plants will restart.
At the same time in Louisiana, Dow Chemical Co. is working to restart its plastics and chemicals operations in Hahnville.
GE's ABS plant in Bay St. Louis, Miss., still has no power, spokesman Chris Tessier said Sept. 12. Production at the plant, which makes resins and alloys, was stopped Aug. 27 in anticipation of Katrina, which hit the coast Aug. 29.
``All of our employees are accounted for,'' Tessier said. ``Relatively speaking, damage to the plant wasn't as bad as it was in some other areas.''
At Wellman's PET plant in Bay St. Louis, officials still are trying to assess damage caused by the storm, according to spokesman Michael Bermish.
``We didn't have any injuries, but we're still trying to find out when we can get up and running,'' Bermish said. ``Damage to the plant was minor, but when we come back we'll still have to deal with rail issues and other logistics.''
Shrewsbury, N.J.-based Wellman has declared force majeure on PET and is supplying customers of the Bay St. Louis plant with resin from Darlington, S.C.
Wellman's Mississippi plant, a 500 million-pound-capacity facility known as Pearl River, is about 50 miles east of New Orleans.
In Hahnville, Dow's production units for polypropylene and other products ``are in various stages of being brought back on line,'' company officials said in a Sept. 14 news release. All Dow employees in the affected area have been accounted for, officials added.
Dow expects a return to normal operations at the site ``within a few weeks.''