to produce chlorine are transported ….
to produce chlorine are transported to its production plant by railroad, but Arko said the absence of railroad workers has created a bottleneck at the switch track terminal.
“We had rail cars on the way to Washington, that got to the switch track terminal and normally it’s about a four-hour process for someone from the railroad to come pull the switch to direct the rail cars to HASA.” Arko said. “Now without rail labor, this process requires 4 days.”
In one instance, because there was no one to move the rail cars at a switch track terminal in Arizona, they had to wait for muriatic acid for a week.
Meanwhile, there is also an actual shortage of railcars as well.
And if all of this weren’t bad enough, there is also a shipping container shortage. Largely because of the pandemic, shipping containers were delivered to ports across the world and became stuck at those new locations.
Now the containers have piled up in ports and inland rail depots. Ports such as California’s massive Los Angeles/Long Beach ports are struggling to unload and load these containers to keep up with the ships waiting offshore.
“It has been a domino effect. When it hit the media that there was no chlorine, based on the trichlor situation, we said, we’re going to do everything we can to have a good supply of liquid to take care of everybody during the summer. And we were doing OK with that — we were meeting our commitments. But then Westlake happened, and it domino-ed after that,” Arko said.
The upshot is that HASA’s operations are beginning to return to normal, and Arko say’s they are getting to the tail end of the worst of it.
By press time, he expects that their chlorine supply will be in fairly good shape.
“The chlor-alkali plant is back up and running, but keep in mind that what takes precedents for them, and from an EPA standpoint, is for them to get supplies to the drinking water municipalities first. That’s part of why it’s stretched out and taking so long,” Arko said. “Certainly, by August, and barring some other unforeseen event doesn’t take place, we are hopeful to be closer to normal.”