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Formosa Plastics lifts force majeure on PVC declared post-Ida

Highlights

Force majeure lifted effective Oct. 1

Other Ida-related force majeure events in PVC chain remain in effect

Formosa Plastics USA has lifted its force majeure declared Sept. 6 on polyvinyl chloride, effective Oct. 1, according to a customer letter seen by S&P Global Platts.

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The letter, dated Sept. 30, said the company was rescinding its declaration of force majeure on suspension-grade PVC, but PVC dry-blend compounds would remain under force majeure until further notice.

"We certainly appreciate your understanding and patience during this challenging time," the letter said.

Formosa was among multiple PVC producers that declared force majeure after Hurricane Ida slammed into Louisiana Aug. 29, knocking out power and access to critical industrial gas feedstocks for several weeks. About 41% of North American PVC production along the Mississippi River, including Formosa's 513,000 mt/year unit in Baton Rouge, shut ahead of the storm's landfall.

Formosa's plant was the first to resume production, although the ramp-up was initially hindered because of a shortage of nitrogen gas supply that also affected other producers.

Other force majeure events that PVC producers declared shortly after Ida's landfall remained in effect Oct. 1.

Westlake Chemical, which operates two PVC complexes in Plaquemine and Geismar, Louisiana, declared force majeure on PVC and upstream vinyl chloride monomer Aug. 31 and, Sept. 2, declared force majeure on caustic soda.

OxyChem, the chemical division of Occidental Petroleum, declared force majeure Aug. 30 on water treatment products and Aug. 31 on chlorine, caustic soda, ethylene dichloride, and other chemicals. OxyChem has two chlor-alkali units in Taft and Convent, Louisiana, and two EDC units in Convent and Geismar.

Shintech also declared force majeure Sept. 1 on caustic soda.

Customer letters on all the force majeure declarations were seen by Platts. None of the companies responded to requests for comment.