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Spare part helps get chlorine plant back online in Longview

June 25, 2021 GMT

LONGVIEW, Wash. (AP) — After a “major electrical failure” at the Longview Westlake Chemical company plant in earlier this month caused chlorine shortages across the West Coast, a local business stepped in to help replace the part and get the plant back online.

NORPAC gave the plant a spare transformer and production restarted on Wednesday, The Daily News reported.

Earlier in June, a piece of equipment experienced a failure with an electrical transformer and had to be sent off-site to be repaired. Plant officials originally estimated the plant would be offline until the end of June at a minimum.

“Westlake Chemical’s Longview, Washington, plant successfully installed a replacement electrical transformer and completed its testing earlier this week, which permitted the restart of the facility,” a statement from Westlake said.

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The plant manufactures chlorine and caustic soda. The Longview facility was purchased by Westlake Chemical in 2016 with its acquisition of Axiall Corp.

Chlorination is critical in the water treatment process that disinfects and kills bacteria, viruses and other microbes, and multiple cities asked residents last week to conserve water until the shortage was resolved.

Westlake said in a statement it will be letting customers know when they will get chlorine deliveries. In a news release, the City of Kalama said it understood that “it will take time to meet the backlog and demand, as the shortage affects the entire West Coast region.”