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PPG's Lake Charles Complex Experiences Unplanned Outages

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PPG Industries (NYSE: PPG) announced that its chlor-alkali complex in Lake Charles, La., experienced a production outage stemming from a major generator transformer failure, which resulted in an electrical disruption and subsequent shutdown of the entire plant. The incident occurred Nov. 28 and did not result in any chemicals releases or injuries to plant personnel but did lead to a multiday production stoppage.

“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.”

The company indicated that following an orderly start-up, the plant resumed partial operations Nov. 30. However, power generation continues to be impacted by damaged electrical equipment.

“Due to the electrical damage, we are still not generating sufficient power internally, so we have begun to purchase power externally. We have commenced repairs to our electrical system and expect completion to take 4 to 6 weeks,” McGarry said. “We are 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.”

McGarry added that 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.

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