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Sasol says seven units at Lake Charles operating

After being shut due to Hurricane Laura.
Image: Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg

South African petrochemical firm Sasol said on Thursday that seven of its chemical manufacturing units at its US Lake Charles Chemical facility have returned to operation after being shut due to Hurricane Laura.

Sasol said the impact of the hurricane on net saleable tons at its North American operations was around 170,000 tonnes for the first quarter of its 2021 financial year.

Sasol had temporarily shut down facilities at Lake Charles in Louisiana and Greens Bayou and Winnie in Texas in preparation for the hurricane.

The company said by the end of this month it expected all remaining units which were operating prior to the hurricane to be back in operation and the commissioning of its Low Density Polyethylene unit to be completed.

The massive storm hit Louisiana in August with 150 mile-per-hour (240 kph) winds, damaging buildings, knocking down trees and cutting power supplies.

The Lake Charles Chemical Complex produces products used in cleaning, detergents and cosmetics.

Sasol said sales volumes in its Performance Chemicals business fell 11% in the quarter compared to a year earlier driven by Covid-19 restrictions and the Hurricane Laura outage.

Saleable production from its mining business during the three months to September fell 7% year on year after Covid-19 impacted productivity.

Sasol, the world’s top manufacturer of motor fuel from coal, resumed external coal purchases to support its stockpiles due to the lower productivity and an increase in internal demand after a planned shutdown was delayed.

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