Jan. 24 (Bloomberg) -- The average operating rate of U.S. plants that make chlorine and caustic soda rose to 79 percent in December, the first sequential gain since August, a trade group said.
The industry’s average operating rate for plants that make the chemicals known as chlor-alkali rose from 76 percent in November, The Chlorine Institute, based in Arlington, Virginia, said today in an e-mail. Plants on average ran at 83 percent of capacity in December of 2010.
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. is the world’s largest maker of chlor-alkali, followed by Occidental Petroleum Corp., Olin Corp. and PPG Industries Inc.
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