20 March 2002 00:22 [Source: ICIS news]
In a brief communication to the Indian stock exchanges, DCW said it had suspended operations at its soda ash unit on 16 March since the workers had resorted to an illegal strike.
It was not immediately clear how long the suspension would last or whether the company's latest move would lead to the permanent closure of the unit.
DCW originally announced on 14 February that it was suspending soda ash production at its Dharangadhra plant from 1 March as the unit was not viable.
However, the company changed its mind on 5 March, saying it had deferred its proposal to suspend production due to communal riots in Gujarat.
This puzzled industry observers since the Gujarat riots had the opposite effect for a number of smaller petrochemical companies which were forced to close down their operations during the troubles.
The soda ash unit, which has a capacity of 92 000 tonne/year of soda ash and 12 000 tonne/year of sodium bicarbonate, has been incurring losses over the last few years, adversely affecting the company's overall profit.
DCW operates a 60 000 tonne/year PVC plant at Sahupuram in Tamilnadu. It also operates a chlor-alkali plant at the same location with a capacity of 33 000 tonne/year of caustic soda and 16 500 tonne/year of chlorine. The company also runs a 33 000 tonne/year hydrochloric acid plant at the same site.
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