Updated — Saudi Basic Industries Corp. has temporarily suspended production of polycarbonate resins at its plant in Burkville, Ala.
Sabic declared force majeure on Lexan-brand PC, officials said in a June 14 email to Plastics News. The production stoppage is the result of "issues with certain equipment in its chemical plant" and the firm now needs to make repairs, officials added.
"We are taking a number of steps to optimize available inventory to fulfil customer orders and anticipate that the plant will be able to start up within five weeks," they said. "We are doing everything we reasonably can to limit the impact of this incident on our customers."
In a June 8 letter to customers, Sabic officials said that the Burkville site experienced "a series of equipment failures" in its brine plant. "There will be a period during which total demand for Lexan resin from our customers in the Americas will exceed our available supplies," they explained.
An allocation program for Lexan will begin starting with shipments on June 19. All orders scheduled for shipment prior to June 19 will be fulfilled as per current estimated delivery dates to the best of Sabic's ability, officials said in the letter.
In North America, Sabic also makes PC resin at a plant in Mount Vernon, Ind. The firm — a major global producer of commodity and engineering resins — is based in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, with North American headquarters in Houston.
Since October, Sabic has been struggling with implementing a new ERP computer system that has caused delivery problems for many customers throughout North America.
An earlier version of this story said Cycoloy-brand PC/ABS materials also were included in the force majeure announcement. Company officials sent incorrect information.