US Westlake restarts Louisiana VCM unit after March fire

09 May 2012 22:28  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US vinyls producer Westlake said on Wednesday that its vinyl chloride monomer (VCM) unit at its Geismar, Louisiana, complex has been “safety repaired and restarted” following an explosion and fire in March.

“With the restart of this unit, the overall site is now fully operational,” the Houston-based company said in a statement.

Although the 22 March fire primarily affected the complex’s VCM tower, Westlake declared a force majeure on polyvinyl chloride (PVC), the major end-product of VCM. There were no injuries.

Westlake continues to cooperate with governmental authorities, including OSHA [Occupational Safety and Health Administration], EPA [Environmental Protection Agency], the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality and law enforcement, regarding the investigation into the factors contributing to the fire,” the company said.

Westlake said it is working with its customers and suppliers to mitigate the impact of the outage and to meet their needs as production resumes.

($1 = €0.77)


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By: Ken Fountain

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