Coronavirus concerns have affected production at an Eastman Chemical Co. plant in Wuhan, China.
Eastman's Wuhan plant remained out of production as of March 3. The plant makes Benzoflex-brand benzoate ester plasticizers, benzoic acid and sodium benzoate for adhesives, sealants, flooring, coatings and inks.
In a statement posted on its website, officials with Eastman in Kingsport, Tenn., said that materials produced in Wuhan are being supplied from an alternate manufacturing location at this time. The Wuhan site opened in 2007 as a joint venture with Genovique Specialties Wuhan Youji Chemical Co. Ltd.
"The issue we continue to face is the slowdown for logistics as a result of slowdown at shipping ports and the shortage of trucking we're seeing country to country," Eastman officials said. "We are working to secure future vessel space allocations and using track and trace of all shipments in transit to provide customers with updated estimated arrival times."
They added that "at this stage we do not foresee any shortage on key feedstocks to continue production for our customers. …We continue to work closely to ensure our suppliers can meet our needs to keep our manufacturing processes running."
Eastman said in its March 3 update that it "continues to diligently monitor the evolving situation daily," and it has extended travel restrictions both internationally and domestically. It will also evaluate the need to attend group gatherings and will implement visitor guidelines.
Eastman employs 14,500 worldwide and posted sales of $9.3 billion. The firm's other plastics products include Tritan-brand copolyester.