Midland, Michigan - Dow Chemical Co. said Saturday 13 Sept that initial inspections of its sites along the Texas Gulf Coast indicate that Hurricane Ike caused no significant structural damage to the facilities, with no personnel injuries reported.
"Hurricane crews will be conducting more detailed inspections of the Company's five sites," added Dow. Once the inspections are complete, Dow's maintenance and operations teams will start to bring utilities back on line as soon it is safe to do so.
The group pointed out that assessments will continue throughout the start-up operations -- a process that could take up to several weeks to complete based on factors including availability of raw materials, personnel and logistics.
Dow's sites in Freeport, Clear Lake and LaPorte, as well as the Union Carbide facilities in Texas City and Seadrift were safely shut down before the hurricane made landfall. Its business centres, including one in Houston, were also closed.
The company asked employees affected to contact their local authorities before returning to their homes and regularly check dow.com for returning to work information.
Dow's site in Plaquemine, Louisiana, and Union Carbide's St. Charles operations in Hahnville, Louisiana, were not affected by Hurricane Ike and will continue with their start-up operations, after being closed in preparation for Hurricane Gustav last week, the group said.
Many other petrochemical groups along the Texas Gulf Coast closed plants in anticipation of last weekend's hurricane, and are now assessing damage and looking at restarting plants as the power supply is restored. News reports from the Houston area indicate that Hurricane Ike veered away from its original course so that damage to Houston's ship channel and refining and chemical plants may be less than that originally predicted. Costs for repairing damage from Saturday's events were initially estimated to lie in the range $8000 million to $25 000 million.