Updated Oct. 15
Multiple resin and feedstocks plants on the U.S. Gulf Coast were forced to close because of Hurricane Delta, which made landfall Oct. 9, including sites that had still not fully reopened after Hurricane Laura.
Laura hit that same part of the Louisiana and Texas border in late August. Before weakening, Delta had maximum sustained winds of 105 mph, making it a Category 2 hurricane.
Westlake Chemical Corp. of Houston idled production at its petrochemicals complex in Lake Charles, La., a company spokesman said in an email to Plastics News. Westlake's primary concern "is for the safety of its employees and the communities where it operates," he said.
The spokesman added that, following initial assessments, Westlake believes it has incurred "very limited physical damage" to its facilities. The facilities are in the process of restarting, he said. Timing of restarts for each unit will depend on restoration of electricity, industrial gases, and other feedstocks and utilities.
Damage to the electrical grid following Laura had been blamed for the delay in restarting plants.
Westlake operates almost 1.4 billion pounds of polyethylene resin capacity and almost 2.1 billion pounds of capacity for PVC resin feedstock VCM in Lake Charles.
A spokesperson with Dow Inc. in Midland, Mich., said that the firm's Gulf Coast sites reported no major damage from Hurricane Delta. The spokesperson added that, in a precautionary move, some Dow assets in Louisiana and in Sabine and Beaumont, Texas, were brought to "a safe idle state" ahead of the storm. Those assets have resumed regular staffing and are now moving back to normal operations.
Market sources said that LyondellBasell Industries had closed polypropylene resin production in Lake Charles and that Sasol Ltd. had done the same with PE resin production, also in Lake Charles. Both of those facilities were in the process of restarting after the previous hurricane.
In an Oct. 13 email to Plastics News, LyondellBasell media relations manager Chevalier Gray said that all company personnel in Lake Charles "are safe and accounted for."
She added that a full site assessment was safely performed and minor repairs are underway. "Our goal is to complete repairs and begin restarting the facility later this week," Gray said.
A 2 billion-pound-per-year capacity ethylene plant operated by Nova Chemicals in Geismar, La., also was running at reduced rates, according to a report from Houston-based PetrochemWire.
In Westlake, La., Louisiana Pigment Co. had idled a plant making titanium dioxide, a common plastics whitener, according to a report from Houston-based ICIS. An Invista plant making nylon fiber and nylon feedstock adiponitrile in Orange, Texas, also was operating with limited personnel, the report added.
Local power supplier Entergy said Oct. 13 that 80 percent of its customers in the region affected by Hurricane Delta had their power restored.