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PPG's operations disrupted due to Thailand floods

November 15, 2011

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PITTSBURGH—PPG Industries Inc. said Tuesday that its optical products manufacturing and distribution operations in Thailand have been severely disrupted due to the worst floods to hit the nation in more than half a century.

Management said it is unable to give a timeframe for when the company's operations will return to normal.

"The significant flooding has severely affected our ability to provide products to our customers," said Richard Elias, PPG's senior vice president of optical and specialty materials.

Shares rose 32 cents to $87.61 in afternoon trading.

The Pittsburgh-based company, which manufactures protective and decorative coatings, declared "force majeure" on certain of its optical products. The term is a provision that frees companies from liability when an extraordinary event occurs that could significantly disrupt business.

PPG said the decision was based on the suspension of production at its Solarlens facilities in Bang Pa-In and Lat Krabang.

The company's Transitions Optical facility in Chon Buri remains in operation, but also has been adversely affected because many of its customers are in flooded districts of the country.

Elias said there have been no reports that any PPG employees have been injured due to the floods, which have affected more than a third of Thailand's provinces and killed 562 people nationwide since they began swamping the central heartland in late July.

The flooding also has caused disruptions to manufacturing operations for other companies, including automakers Toyota and Honda Motor Corp., and computer hard drive maker Western Digital Corp.