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Power Outage Shuts Down PPG Plant

Monday, December 10, 2012

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"A major generator transformer failure" has severely impacted production at PPG Industries' chlor-alkali complex in Lake Charles, LA, the company announced Friday (Dec. 7).

The facility—one of PPG's four chlor-alkali plants in the United States—"experienced a production outage stemming from a major generator transformer failure" on Nov. 28, resulting in "an electrical disruption and subsequent shutdown of the entire plant," according to a statement issued by the company.

No injuries occurred, and no chemicals were released in the incident, PPG said, but the problem "did lead to a multiday production stoppage."

PPG Chlor-Alkali
Photos: PPG

PPG is one of the world's largest producers of chlorine and liquid caustic soda.

“Plant personnel reacted quickly and appropriately,” said Michael H. McGarry, PPG executive vice president. “Due to their efforts, we were able to avert a longer plant outage.”

$4M-$8M Loss

The plant resumed partial operations Nov. 30, but the damaged electrical equipment continues to hamper the facility's power, PPG reported.

“Due to the electrical damage, we are still not generating sufficient power internally, so we have begun to purchase power externally," said McGarry. "We have commenced repairs to our electrical system and expect completion to take four to six weeks."

McGarry said the facility was "now running at operating rates sufficient to meet current customer demand, and we expect to be able to continue to meet demand throughout the repair period.”

PPG Chlor-Alkali

PPG's chlor-alkali products, produced at six plants worldwide, are used in a wide variety of products and industrial manufacturing processes.

The lost sales volume and expense associated with the plant stoppage, transitory external power purchases, and equipment repairs will likely impact PPG’s fourth-quarter Commodity Chemical segment earnings by $4 million to $8 million.

About PPG Chlor-Alkali

PPG is one of the largest producers of chlorine and liquid caustic soda worldwide. With sales, marketing customer service and R&D based in Monroeville, PA, PPG Chlor-Alkali owns and operates plants in Lake Charles, LA; Natrium, WV; La Porte, TX; Longview, WA; Beauharnois, QB; and Taipei, Taiwan.

PPG Chlor-Alkali and Derivatives maintains four product lines: chlor-alkali products, chlorinated ethylenes, calcium hypochlorite products, and specialty phosgene derivatives. Its chlor-alkali products include liquid and dry caustic soda, chlorine and muriatic acid.

The products are used in a wide variety of industrial and manufacturing operations. Chlorine, for example, is used in the production of titanium dioxide, and ethyl chloride is used as a base or intermediate in various coatings.


Tagged categories: Business conditions; Chemical Plants; Coatings manufacturers; PPG; Productivity; Raw materials

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