U.S. Chlorine Plants in January Run at Highest Rate Since August

The average operating rate of U.S. plants that make chlorine and caustic soda rose to 85 percent in January, the highest output level in five months, a trade group said.

The industry’s average operating rate for plants that make the chemicals known as chlor-alkali rose from 79 percent in December, The Chlorine Institute, based in Arlington, Virginia, said today in an e-mail. Plants on average ran at 86 percent of capacity in August.

Chlorine is used to make vinyl products such as siding and polyvinyl chloride pipe. Caustic soda, produced in tandem with chlorine, is used to make pulp, paper and soap. Dow Chemical Co. (DOW) is the world’s largest maker of chlor-alkali, followed by Occidental Petroleum Corp. (OXY), Olin Corp. (OLN) and PPG Industries Inc. (PPG)

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