Westlake declares force majeure on chlor-alkali throughout U.S. system

Jun. 15, 2022 8:06 PM ETWestlake Corporation (WLK)OLNBy: Carl Surran, SA News Editor17 Comments

Petrochemical Refinery oil and gas industry

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Westlake (NYSE:WLK) -6.2% in Wednesday's trading, tumbling to its lowest in more than three months, after it declared force majeure on chlorine and all grades of caustic soda throughout its U.S. system, S&P Global Platts reported.

Westlake (WLK) said its chlor-alkali production "has been directly and adversely impacted due to the sudden and unanticipated failures of critical processing equipment," according to a letter seen by S&P Global.

Westlake (WLK) did not specify the sites affected by equipment failures, but S&P Global said the chlor-alkali unit in Natrium, West Virginia, has experienced equipment issues since concluding a recent turnaround and was operating at reduced rates.

S&P Global also reported the company has faced brine quality problems from a third-party provider at its Geismar, Louisiana, chlor-alkali unit, and has launched a complex-wide turnaround at its Plaquemine, Louisiana, site, including the chlor-alkali facility.

Westlake's (WLK) force majeure came a day after top chlor-alkali producer Olin (OLN) said its Freeport, Texas, plant would temporarily idle a "significant portion" of its ethylene dichloride and related chlor-alkali production.

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