U.S. Chemical Makers Report Minimal Hurricane Gustav Damage

September 2, 2008

Major chemical makers in the U.S. said Tuesday that initial inspections indicate only slight damage to those facilities that were affected by Hurricane Gustav, but companies are still uncertain about when production is likely to restart at many of these sites.

DuPont Co said based on initial site reports its Burnside and Pontchartrain sites in Louisiana sustained wind damage and lost electric power, but were not flooded. The sites are currently shut down pending restoration of basic services and equipment repairs.

The company also said there are no current reports of injuries or environmental incidents caused by the storm at the company’s facilities. Its Sabine, Beaumont, DeLisle, Mobile and Pascagoula sites are making plans to begin start-up activities Tuesday, the company said in a statement on Tuesday.

David Winder, a spokesman for Dow Chemical, said the company’s Texas sites continued normal operations and were not impacted by Hurricane Gustav.

“At our Plaquemine, Louisiana, site some of the plants were taken down in light of the hurricane and our St Charles operations were taken completely down before the hurricane,” he said, adding that the company has yet to make decisions on restarts of these operations.

Germany’s BASF, which has 14 manufacturing operations in the Gulf Coast region, is unsure about when it can restart operations at its Geismar, Louisiana facility, due to a breakdown of the power grid in the area.

“At this point based on visual assessments damage was very, very minor,” said BASF spokesman Daniel Pepitone. “At Port Allen, Beaumont and Port Arthur right now we are in the middle of our inspection and we will begin the restart process as soon as that is completed.”

A spokesman for Huntsman said the company had two sites that were impacted by Hurricane Gustav. The company expects all operations at its Port Neches, Texas site to be operational by Thursday or Friday.

The company’s Geismar, Louisiana operations had minimal damage, but will restart operations only after electric power and raw materials supplies are restored, said Russ Stolle, a spokesman for the company.

(Editing by Phil Berlowitz)

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