MEMC Electronic Materials reports that it has begun to take safety precautions at its Pasadena, TX, polysilicon facility near Houston in preparation for Hurricane Ike, a Category 3 storm in the Gulf of Mexico likely to make landfall in the next few days on the southeast Texas coast.
As part of these precautions, the company says it has started shutting down operations in preparation for the heavy weather which is projected to affect the area. Operations are anticipated to resume early next week, potentially resulting in an approximate five-day impact on polysilicon production at this factory.
MEMC notes that this degree of impact for unanticipated circumstances was contemplated in the range of financial targets provided in the midquarter update provided on September 2. Should circumstances change significantly, the company says it will issue another press release.
The news comes a little over a month after the company shut down the Pasadena plant temporarily because of Tropical Storm Edouard. Other safety-related incidents have plagued the facility, including a June fire caused by a loose pipe fitting that led to a partial shutdown of silane production and an April mishap where gas was released from a faulty transfer line from a materials transport vehicle.
— Tom Cheyney