South Korea's Hanwha Chemical Corp said Wednesday most of its plants at its Yeochon complex have not been affected by a workers strike since Monday.
South Korea's Hanwha Chemical Corp said Wednesday most of its plants at its Yeochon complex have not been affected by a workers strike since Monday. The company's low density polyethylene plants, oxo alcohol units, and EDC-VCM lines were running normally, but its PVC output rate has been trimmed to 90-95% capacity, sources at Hanwha said. Hanwha has been utilizing its plant engineers, non-union workers, and utility workers to keep the plants running. Hanwha's management and labor union are currently in negotiations, and a settlement is expected within the next several days. If a settlement is not reached, Hanwha would have to lower operating rates at most of its plants, or shut down certain units, a source said.
Members of Hanwha's labor union went on a full-fledged strike at Yeochon Monday after talks with management broke down. The two parties have been discussing issues relating to pay and benefits since early July. The strike so far has affected only Hanwha's Yeochon site, not its complex at Ulsan. Sources said the strike action at Yeochon was sparked by perceived inequalities between workers at Hanwha and the Yeochon Naphtha Cracking Center, which supplies gfeedstock to Hanwha's Yochon plants. YNCC's labor union recently concluded a deal with its management for a workers package that Hanwha's Yeochon workers claim was better than theirs.
Following is a list of Hanwha's petrochemical nameplate capacities at Yeochon:
LDPE - 535,000 mt/yr
PVC - 415,000 mt/yr
EDC - 580,000 mt/yr
VCM - 516,000 mt/yr
2-EH - 100,000 mt/yr
NBA - 10,000 mt/yr
IBA - 6,000 mt/yr
DOP - 90,000 mt/yr
(Hanwha sources ethylene and propylene feedstock from its affiliate YNCC, in which it owns a 50% stake.)