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Harvey continues to cause new shutdowns, run-cuts, force majeures

by ChemOrbis Editorial Team -
  • 31/08/2017 (17:43)
According to the market sources, more production was cut or suspended along the Texas coast as Hurricane Harvey moves inland.

New shutdowns:

Chevron Phillips shut its complex at Port Arthur mid-this week, including a cracker with 830,000 tons/year production capacity as well as propylene units while the company’s Sweeny complex, which houses three steam cracker with a total production capacity of around 1.9 million tons/year of ethylene, was already shut on Sunday.

DuPont also had to stop production at its 680,000 tons/year cracker in Orange on Wednesday ahead of an expected power interruption.

ExxonMobil also shut its Beaumont chemical complex with 827,000 tons/year ethylene capacity on Tuesday while production at its Baytown refinery, which is the second largest refinery in the US, and chemical complex had already been suspended on Sunday. However, the company’s Baton Rouge refinery and chemical complex remained operational.

Flint Hills was heard to shut its light olefins unit on Tuesday in Port Arthur, housing a steam cracker capable of producing 623,000 tons/year of ethylene while the unit also produces chemical-grade propylene.

Shell shut its refinery complex capable of processing 340,000 barrels/day and producing over 1 million tons/year of ethylene in Deer Park on Sunday as well.

LyondellBasell, who declared force majeure on PE supplies from Corpus Christi, Matagorda, Victoria and Chocolate Bayou on Sunday, also shut its 790,000 tons/year ethylene cracker in La Porte on the same day.

Updates on reduced rates and force majeures:

BASF and Total’s joint venture cracker with 1 million tons/year capacity and other units in Port Arthur are now being run at reduced rates; however, the company is considering shutting the complex in case of deterioration of constraints.

Total, meanwhile, declared force majeure on all PP supply from its La Porte facility in a letter to its customers. The company also added that they hope that the force majeure would last no longer than 14 days.

Dow Chemical’s petrochemical complexes in Freeport and Louisiana are operating normally, but the company is mulling over cutting rates depending on logistics. Dow’s Freeport complex has a production capacity of 3.7 million tons/year of ethylene while a new 1.5 million tons/year cracker along with two new PE plants with a combined capacity of more than 1 million tons/year planned to be started up. The company’s Plaquemine, Louisiana complex has two crackers with a combined capacity of 1.2 million tons/year, and another 600,000 tons/year cracker in Lake Charles.


The major ports in Texas also remained shut as of Thursday from Corpus Christi to Beaumont and Port Arthur, including Port Houston, the second-largest petrochemical port in the world.
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