AKRON (Sept. 26)—Synthetic rubber producer Firestone Polymers L.L.C. and silica maker PPG Industries Inc. have given force majeure notices as a result of Hurricane Rita.
Firestone Polymers—which makes polybutadiene, SBR and styrene SB and SBS block copolymers—closed its plants in Orange, Texas, and Lake Charles, La., on Sept. 22 as the storm approached. The declaration of force majeure, meaning it can't fulfill contracts because of an act of God, covers all the firm's products, according to a letter to customers from John S. Vincent, president of the Bridgestone/Firestone division.
Vincent said the declaration will be in effect for at least several days until damage is assessed, and after that available supplies will be allocated to customers.
PPG's Sept. 26 declaration covers silica and other chemicals made at the firm's Lake Charles chemical complex. The firm said the facility temporarily is shut down, and it doesn't know when the operation will restart.
The silica the firm produces is used by the tire, industrial rubber, and silicone rubber product makers.