COVID-19 Update: LaPorte Plant



June 3, 2020

The world is facing an issue of enormous scale and human impact related to COVID-19. At Kuraray, safety is the cornerstone of everything we do. As the situation rapidly evolves, we’re working to protect the health of our employees, while continuing to meet our customer commitments. To ensure everyone’s safety and the continuity of operations, Kuraray continues to take the following countermeasures in response to minimizing the spread of COVID-19:

• For any “shelter in place” orders, Kuraray’s position is that we are exempt as a “critical infrastructure sector” as defined by the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (which identifies 16 such sectors, including chemical).

o Kuraray’s La Porte Plant currently produces vinyl acetate monomer (VAM) and polyvinyl alcohol (PVOH) resin under the tradename ELVANOL™. The plant is one of only four domestic suppliers of VAM, which is a key component in the production of ethylene-vinyl alcohol (EVOH) and PVOH. These polymers play an integral part in the production of food and pharmaceutical packaging, automotive supply chain, and consumer goods such as mono-dose laundry pods.

• From March 16 through the end of April, only employees essential to production or lab facilities were onsite. In May, employees began to return to the sites using a phased approach. The production employees, who make up the bulk of our headcount, are working in shifts to avoid the potential for cross-contamination.
• Kuraray implemented temperature screening measures at production sites on March 20, 2020, and continues to issue new guidelines and procedures for any employees, visitors, and contractors entering the La Porte Plant’s facilities.

• As a company, we’ve had two confirmed COVID-19 cases at our Fayetteville, NC site. If and when we receive notification of any positive COVID-19 test, we will conduct a full investigation and disinfect all areas the employee came into contact with per the CDC’s cleaning protocol. Committed to full transparency, we will provide numbers and locations of any positive tests to the appropriate health department authorities. We will notify any customers, vendors, or suppliers who may have come into contact with an infected Kuraray employee.

• We continue to adhere to our Business Interruption Plan, which outlines policies and procedures to support stable operations through a vast array of crisis situations. Decisions are made by a corporate multidisciplinary team, which allows us to act consistently and quickly.

• Our team is working daily with supply chain partners to minimize delivery impacts to customers. We source raw materials from various vendors, have several distribution carriers, and keep stock of available products at numerous warehouses. The La Porte Plant is well-positioned to maintain supply continuity.

We will continue to provide updates and adjust our countermeasures as we learn more. Throughout this situation, we remain committed to providing the superior service and support that our customers have come to expect of Kuraray and the PVOH Business. Together, we will weather this global pandemic. Thank you for your continued partnership.

Best regards,

Hitoshi Toyoura
President and CEO
Kuraray America, Inc.

About Kuraray
Founded in 1926, Kuraray Co., Ltd. is a world leader in performance-based polymer and specialty materials technologies, including resins, chemicals, fibers and textiles. The company operates many subsidiaries around the world, including Kuraray America, Inc., headquartered in Houston, Texas. For more information, visit

To contact Kuraray regarding COVID-19 status of facilities and operations,
please call (512) 931-1015 or email