Axiall’s Lousiana VCM plant back at full operating rates

10 July 2014 02:09 Source:ICIS News

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Axiall's vinyl chloride monomer (VCM) plant in Lake Charles, Louisiana, has been repaired and is running at full operating rates, the US chlor-alkali producer announced on Wednesday.

The plant had been operating at reduced rates following a fire at the facilty in December 2013.

Axiall’s Lake Charles plant “returned to full service at the end of June, but followed a slower ramp up to full operating rates, resulting in lower than expected sales volumes and higher operating and maintenance costs during the second quarter”, company president and CEO Paul Carrico said.

The plant has a capacity of 590,000 tonnes/year of VCM, according to the ICIS Plants and Projects database.

Carrico on Wednesday also provided some early detail on the company’s Q2 financial performance.

“In our Building Products segment, we experienced a normal seasonal increase in US sales volumes but continued to see weaker Canadian sales and the impact of a weaker Canadian dollar during the period,” he said. “Additionally, our aromatics operating income results will be approximately $12m lower than the second quarter of 2013 due to lower operating rates and lower margins.”

“Long-term, we remain confident that our integrated chemicals and building products business will continue to benefit from low-cost natural gas in North America and growing global demand for our broadened product portfolio,” Carrico said.

Axiall has not set a date for when it will release its full earnings for Q2 2014.

By Jeremy Pafford