The winter storms that caused mass blackouts in Texas last month caused many chemical plants to shut down, which in turn is causing a shortage of raw materials needed for many medical supplies, such as face shields, The Wall Street Journal reported March 17.
The power outages caused the world’s largest petrochemical complex to shut, and many plants remain offline. Analysts told the Journal it could be months before the plants are fully back.
Kim Anders, group vice president of strategic supplier engagement at Premier, told the Journal there is a shortage of sharps containers hospitals use to hold needles because of the shortages caused by the power outages, as well as increased demand from the national COVID-19 vaccination campaign. Hospitals have been waiting until their sharps containers are full before throwing them out instead of throwing them out weekly, Ms. Anders told the Journal.
Jason Keiswetter, president of Petoskey Plastics, which makes protective gowns for healthcare workers and other products, told the Journal his raw material costs are up almost 150 percent compared to last summer, as suppliers announce price increases after the plant shutdowns.
A spokesperson for Dow Inc., a commodity chemical company, told the Journal the company expects “supply chain impacts across the industry to create very tight supply balances across our key value chains.”
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