Olin Corporation (NYSE: OLN ) announced today that its Chlor Alkali Products division, North America's largest producer of industrial bleach, expects to have in-service a fleet of 100 rail cars specifically designed to carry bleach to its customers by the end of this year. Olin's bleach rail car fleet is projected to total more than 300 rail cars by the end of 2010.
Olin has developed proprietary rail-car technology that enables it to deliver high quality bleach in a cost-effective manner over distances of more than 1,000 miles. One rail car can carry the equivalent of approximately four truckloads of bleach.
"This innovative rail-car technology will allow us to ship bleach more efficiently over longer distances," said John McIntosh, president of Olin Chlor Alkali Products. "This step will be good for our customers, our company and the environment."
During the third quarter of 2009, Olin used rail cars to deliver a growing portion of the more than 54 million gallons of bleach it sold. It expects that most of its bleach sales growth will be delivered using these new rail cars.
The company is creating a bleach distribution network in the eastern half of North America capable of shipping bleach by rail from as far north as its plant in Becancour, Quebec, Canada, to as far south as its plant in McIntosh, Alabama. Olin is well-positioned to deliver bleach by rail to densely populated areas such as New York, Philadelphia, Boston and other large population centers in the Northeast. Olin will also ship bleach from its plant in Henderson, Nevada, to customers in the western United States.
"We also intend to begin shipping low-salt, high-strength bleach using the same rail-car technology," said McIntosh. "This higher-strength material will provide us with an additional competitive advantage because we will be able to ship more active ingredient in each rail car.
"We have seen other manufacturers announce investments in what are commonly referred to as 'salt to bleach' plants. Our major bleach-manufacturing plants employ the same technology as salt to bleach plants, but our plants are much larger and enjoy better economies of scale. With our new shipping technology, our large plants can compete more effectively with these smaller plants. We plan to add bleach capacity in North America as needed to satisfy the growing demand for bleach."
Olin Corporation is a manufacturer concentrated in two business segments: Chlor Alkali Products and Winchester. Chlor Alkali Products manufactures chlorine and caustic soda, sodium hydrosulfite, hydrochloric acid, hydrogen, potassium hydroxide and bleach products. Winchester products include sporting ammunition, reloading components, small caliber military ammunition and components, and industrial cartridges.