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Fire at Westlake VCM plant at Plaquemine, LA

HOUSTON, October 9, 2018 (PCW) -- Westlake Chemical confirmed an early morning fire at a vinyl chloride monomer (VCM) plant at its Plaquemine, LA complex in Iberville Parish.

A spokesman with the plant said the fire started in the VCM unit around 4:15 a.m. The unit was shut down and the fire was isolated to that unit. The fire was put out by 6:25 a.m.

Westlake’s VCM capacity at Plaquemine is 1.65 billion lbs/yr. VCM is primarily used as a chemical intermediate, used to produce PVC resin.

According to plant officials, there were no injuries and there has been no off-site impact.

The cause of the fire is being investigated.

In February, Westlake announced its intention to spend about $140 million to expand VCM and suspension PVC production at its Geismar, LA facility, with completion expected in 2019. -- Donna Todd

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