'The polymer business had a good fourth quarter driven by global rigid polyol growth of 7%,' said Quinn Stepan, the company's CEO.
The company announced that it had had a power outage on 19 January 2020 at its plant in Millsdale, Illinois. Stopping the plant in cold weather led to production disruption. The site's wastewater treatment plant also failed on 17 February, and production stopped at the site.
The company has now restarted polyol production using a temporary solution. It has declared force majeure on its supply of phthalic anhydride, and some surfactant lines. It is sourcing product from other sites around the world to minimise disruption, and is considering an insurance claim.
Looking ahead to the rest of 2020, Stepan said that the first quarter would be 'very challenging'. It added that long-term increases in building insulation will support its polyols business.