Production issues at US Georgia Gulf plant may hit chlor-alkalis

13 April 2011 17:37  [Source: ICIS news]

Market awaits impact of possible outageHOUSTON (ICIS)--The US caustic soda market is bracing for potential supply disruptions after Georgia Gulf reported a series of production problems last week at its Louisiana plant, sources said on Wednesday.

Market sources said there was an outage at Georgia Gulf’s complex in Plaquemine, Louisiana, where production had stopped for about a week. However, they did not specify which unit was affected by the outage.

Georgia Gulf officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

According to ICIS plants and projects, Georgia Gulf’s complex in Plaquemine produces 365,000 tonnes/year of chlorine, 410,000 tonnes/year of caustic soda, 1.13m tonnes/year of ethylene dichloride (EDC), 725,000 tonnes/year of vinyl chloride monomer (VCM) and 560,000 tonnes a year of polyvinyl chloride (PVC).

Georgia Gulf’s Plaquemine facility also produces phenol, acetone and methyl styrene.

Filings at the National Response Center show Georgia Gulf reported a “flange leak on a compressor” that released 10 lb (4.5 kg) of chlorine into the air on 5 April.

A second filing showed 15 lb of chlorine was released from a disposal tower on 8 April.

One distributor said the upset in Georgia Gulf’s production was “the last thing the [caustic soda] market needed right now” given the market is already in tight supply.  

US caustic soda export prices were $390-430/dry metric tonne (dmt) (€269-297/dmt) FOB (free on board) US Gulf, as assessed by ICIS.

($1 = €0.69)

For more on Georgia Gulf’s Plaquemine plant visit ICIS plants and projects
For more on chlor-alkalis visit ICIS chemical intelligence

By: Ruth Liao
+1 713 525 2637

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