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Cause of fire that damaged Texas plastic film plant under investigation


Plant makes rigid films

No employees hurt: police

  • Author
  • Kristen Hays
  • Editor
  • Richard Rubin
  • Commodity
  • Petrochemicals

Investigators were working to determine the cause of a fire that ignited Jan. 9 at a plastics manufacturing facility in Wharton County, Texas, authorities said Jan. 11.

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The fire ignited at a Nan Ya Plastics manufacturing facility that makes polyvinyl chloride and amorphous polyethylene terephthalate, or APET, rigid films. According to the Wharton Police Department, no one was hurt in the blaze.

The plant makes the rigid plastic in the form of sheets that end-users process further, market sources said.

PVC rigid film uses include clear plastic boxes, artificial Christmas trees, molded and sealed plastic packaging, binders, laminate flooring and film on credit cards, according to Nan Ya's Wharton County facility's website.

APET rigid film uses also include clear plastic boxes, molded and sealed plastic packaging and gift cards.

A source said the impact on PVC markets was seen as minimal, as it is more heavily used in construction to make pipes, window frames, vinyl siding and other products.

Nan Ya Plastics is among subsidiaries of Taiwan's Formosa Plastics Group, as is Formosa Plastics USA, which manufactures PVC, polyethylene and polypropylene. Nan Ya's other US operations include production of polyethylene terephthalate, or PET, which is used to make polyester fiber and plastic bottles, and upstream monoethylene glycol, or MEG.