Nov 22, 2021
German vinyls and chlor-alkali manufacturer Vinnolit has lifted its force majeure on supply of caustic soda and polyvinyl from both its Burghausen and Gendorf PVC plants, according to a Vinnolit company source.
A force majeure at the company’s Knapsack site remains in place due to “logistics workarounds” as repairs to the rail tracks are still to be finalized, a source close to the company said last week.
The source added at the time that production at both the Gendorf and Knapsack units was running well, with no “major limitation on utilization” but that it was waiting until all problems were “fully resolved” before lifting the force majeure.
Vinnolit declared force majeure on PVC and caustic supplies from its Gendorf plant due to logistical issues in July after severe flooding in Germany affected the country’s transport and utilities systems. Repairs to these are only now being completed in some cases.
The company source said that the Deutsche Bahn had twice postponed re-opening the track leading to the facility.
The company has PVC production of around 780,000 mt/year at its three sites in Germany, according to sources familiar with its operations.
Vinnolit is a subsidiary of the US’ Westlake Chemical and the Burghausen expansion was part of the parent company’s coordinated plan for its operations in the US and Germany.
A number of planned and unplanned outages in Europe in 2021, together with increased demand from the key construction sectors as economies opened up from lockdowns, and a lack of imports due to global logistical issues combined to drive prices up to record high price territory.
Since the start of 2021, PVC spot prices have climbed Eur850/mt or almost doubled in price to be assessed Nov. 17 at Eur1,800/mt FD, according to S&P Global Platts.
At the same time, Turkish spot prices have surged almost 50% or $730/mt in the same time period, mainly due to tight supply.