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Hurricane Harvey hits US Gulf Coast production

by ChemOrbis Editorial Team - content@chemorbis.com
  • 25/08/2017 (13:25)
According to market sources, US Gulf Coast-based petrochemical producers are preparing themselves ahead of the nearing Hurricane Harvey that is expected to make landfall on the Texas coast late Friday or early Saturday. Formosa Plastics and Oxychem were the first two suspending operations as a precaution while other producers continue to run their plants at normal rates.

Formosa was heard to be in the process of shutting its petrochemical complex in Point Comfort, Texas. The company will reportedly shut all operating units ahead of the storm. Formosa operates two crackers with a combined ethylene capacity of slightly below 1.5 million tons/year while the company also produces PE, PP, PVC and chlor-alkali at the Point Comfort plant.

Similarly, Oxychem is also heard to be suspending ethylene and chlor-alkali production at its Ingleside complex. In cooperation with Mexichem, Oxychem operates a cracker at the site with a production capacity of 550,000 tons/year.

Flint Hills Resources said in a filing that they shut the East and West plants of its Corpus Christi refining complex.

Dow Chemical, however, was continuing normal operations at all of its Texas plants. LyondellBasell was not heard to be planning any shutdown either.

Shell Chemicals was also heard to hold its operations unchanged at its Deer Park complex, where refining units and ethane cracker are operational. Still, they are closely watching weather situation and will take necessary precautions when needed.

Oil companies are returning their personal to the shore from oil platforms as a precaution while the US Coast Guard is planning to shut four major ports including Port of Houston, Port of Texas City, Port of Galveston and Port of Freeport to all inbound and outbound traffic, including crude oil tankers.

The storm has already made itself felt on the petrochemical market, pulling feedstock prices up on a daily basis.
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