Petrochemical production facilities along the Mississippi River halted their operations as Ida hit Louisiana with 150 mph winds creating havoc in the region. Westlake Chemical shut down its facilities in Geismar and Plaquemine ahead of the Ida devastating landfall. The plants were safely shut down in advance as a high alert was given by the weather department to the complexes.
Other chemical plants that were alerted to shut down their operations include the Baton Rouge facility of the Formosa Plastics USA and ExxonMobil. Other complexes that shut down are OxyChem, OxyChem, NOVA Chemical Shell, Shintech, and Dow Chemical. About 6.53 million metric tonnes per year of the US ethylene production and 5 million metric tonnes per year of US polyethylene production were closed ahead of hurricane fears.
The products needed for constructing staple polyvinyl chloride hit hard as the production sites were affected. The impact of the Shutdown of operations could be heavier if the hurricane continues to damage facilities and power outages for weeks ahead. Chlorovinyls is expected to see more fallout as the supply of products from chlorine, caustic soda to PVC have been tight since the respective production facilities have been hit by previous hurricanes in August and October of 2020.
The already tight supply would exacerbate with more colorvinyl outages due to the Shutdown of the facilities. Chlorine is the first product produced in polyvinyl chloride. Caustic soda is its byproduct. And, Caustic soda is the key element in preparing paper, pulp, and alumina.