Baytown, Texas -- Bayer MaterialScience llc said 15 Sept that it may experience some difficulty in supplying US customers of MDI (methylene diphenyl diisocyanate) and TDI (toluene diisocyanate) who are normally supplied from its plants in the Houston, Texas, area, following the heavy winds and rain in the region on Saturday 13 Sept 2008, as a result of Hurricane Ike.
Before Hurricane Ike, BMS said, it had already put in place sales allocation on certain polyols following force majeure declarations by suppliers of critical raw materials in the aftermath of the previous storm, Hurricane Gustav. The latest event "may further limit raw material and polyol supply," but the extent of this is not currently known, BMS said, in an update on its facilities in the region.
BMS manufactures polyurethane raw materials, polycarbonate resins, coatings raw materials and industrial basic chemicals at the plants affected in the Houston area, and said: "We are currently assessing the effects of the hurricane on plant operations, utilities, raw materials and availability of our employees, and are making every effort to return to normal operations as soon as possible."
For customers of BMS Polyurethane and Coatings, Adhesives and Specialties who buy TDI, MDI and polyol products, the company said that rail, truck and marine transport has been severely disrupted in Texas. "At this time, it is unknown when these services in the Houston area will be restored," BMS reported.
"We have limited TDI inventory at New Martinsville, West Virginia, in Mexico, and some trans-loading sites, which will help service domestic customer needs until we resume shipping from Baytown, Texas. However, due to logistics constraints, we will not be able to meet one hundred percent of normal customer orders," BMS explained.
"We have very limited MDI stocks outside of Baytown. Therefore, we expect our ability to supply our customers to be significantly disrupted until we are able to resume normal operations," the company added.
BMS said following the negative effects of Hurricane Ike, "we will review existing open orders and communicate with customers as soon as possible. Customers should contact their sales, marketing or customer service representative with any questions."
An earlier announcement on 15 Sept said that while the Baytown site had no apparent structural damage, some of the site's utility infrastructure was damaged. Immediate challenges include employee access to the site and availability of raw materials, "especially since the greater Baytown area was severely impacted by the storm," the company commented. BMS was also assessing conditions at its Channelview and Spring facilities in Texas.