In the wake of the recent Hurricane Ike, Air Products has moved swiftly to reassure customers that it is working hard to restore production and distribution capabilities at its La Porte and Baytown, Texas facilities.
Air Products’ production and distribution facilities in Texas involve the production of oxygen, nitrogen, hydrogen, CO2 and argon, with the effects of the hurricane disrupting the company’s services at the site.
Power was disrupted at the company’s La Porte and Baytown plants on 13th September, though this was restored just a day later and initial start-up activities began in earnest. Repairs to the La Porte cooling towers and electrical system were also underway.
By 15th September, liquid oxygen and liquid nitrogen production at the Baytown air separation unit had began and as of 16th September, operations nearing normal service had resumed.
Air Products noted that as of the 16th, virtually all employees in the impacted hurricane zone had been accounted for, while the company was in the process of rebuilding depleted liquid inventory at the Baytown plant. The restart of the La Porte facility was underway and partial repairs were made to the cooling tower, enabling the restart of some machinery.
As employees returned from evacuation, Air products had begun to restore distribution capabilities in the region and commenced liquid deliveries using product from neighbouring plants in Louisiana and North Texas.
The company noted that site assessments were underway and a letter to customers from Vice President, North American Merchant Gases Thomas J. Ward, stated, “Please note that restarting these facilities and re-establishing our distribution capabilities are significant efforts and will take several days.$quot;
$quot;As we recover from Hurricane Ike, we will post updates on our website at www.airproducts.com/TXsupply. Please refer to this website to monitor progress.”