AKRON (Sept. 7)—Two suppliers to the rubber industry have declared force majeure—the voiding of supply contracts because of acts of God—as a result of Hurricane Katrina´s destruction in Louisiana.
Columbian Chemicals Co. said the hurricane caused minimal damage to its North Bend, La., carbon black plant, but it foresaw limits to its production and shipment capabilities because of the suspension of rail activity, the short supply of Hopper trucks and the closure of the port of New Orleans.
In a Sept. 1 letter to customers, Columbian said the force majeure would continue until the company can restore normal operations and shipment. "Columbian will do everything possible to produce and ship as much carbon black as possible given operating limitations and we will apprise you of changes to our situation."
Dow Chemical Co. also said it would be unable to supply certain polypropylene products made at its St. Charles operation in Hahnville, La. Dow made the declaration because of the disruption of production, power, utilities, raw material supply and transportation services caused by the hurricane. Production at the site initially was idled ahead of Katrina as a standard precautionary measure, the company said.