Create a free Industrial Equipment News account to continue

After Explosion, Plant Will Be Shut Down for Months

Production is at a standstill after an explosion at the chemical plant.

The Wacker plant fire following an explosion.
The Wacker plant fire following an explosion.
Doug Strickland, @StricklandPhoto, Twitter

CHARLESTON, Tenn. (AP) — A Tennessee chemical plant where an explosion occurred will likely remain shut down for several months.

In a news release Wednesday, Wacker Polysilicon global president Tobias Brandis says the Charleston facility won't restart production until a thorough inspection is completed and it's certain the facility is safe. 

Brandis says workers will support repair efforts and undergo advanced training courses, among other tasks. 

Wacker's ongoing investigation into the Sept. 7 explosion has found a technical defect prompted a hydrogen leak that caught fire. Damaged piping leaked chlorosilane, which creates hydrogen chloride when it contacts moisture in the air. 

The explosion briefly closed an interstate section and spurred shelter-in-place orders. Wacker says there was no risk to the community. 

With insurance for damages and lost production, Wacker expects only minor financial impacts.

More in Operations