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Hurricane Ida hits Louisiana Sunday, several petchem hubs down

by ChemOrbis Editorial Team -
  • 30/08/2021 (09:26)
According to the National Hurricane Center, Hurricane Ida made landfall near Port Fourchon, Louisiana Sunday afternoon as a Category 4 hurricane on the 16th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, before weakening to a Category 1 storm.

The National Hurricane Center reported "catastrophic damage" and warned of "extremely life-threatening" storm surges, while the first death was reported in Ascension Parish. President Joe Biden has approved the state of Louisiana’s request for a major federal disaster declaration, said media sources.

More than 1 million customers in Louisiana, including all New Orleans citizens, are reportedly without power, while all flights were canceled at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport.

Ida continues to move inland along the Gulf Coast of Louisiana and is expected to weaken to a tropical storm Monday as it slowly moves into southwestern Mississippi with heavy rain and winds.

The hurricane has hit petrochemical hubs from New Orleans to Baton Rouge, industry sources reported. Although not directly confirmed by the companies, ExxonMobil reportedly shut its complex that houses a 1 million tons/year cracker, a 400,000 tons/year HDPE unit, a 400,000 tons/year LDPE unit, a 900,000 tons/year LLDPE and a 410,000 tons/year PP line in Baton Rouge. Plus, Formosa Plastics USA shut its 513.000 tons/year PVC and 653.000 tons/year VCM units at the same location.

Dow Chemical brought its two crackers with 1 million tons/year and 500,000 tons/year capacity offline, while the company shut 750,000 tons/year HDPE, 184,000 tons/year and 350,000 tons/year LDPE capacities as well as a 544,000 tons/year LLDPE unit, all in Plaquemine. The company also shut its 750,000 ton/year HDPE and 800,000 tons/year LLDPE units in Taft.

Among other petrochemical companies that shut their plants in Plaquemine, there are Shintech (500,000 tons/year cracker, 600,000 tons/year PVC, 1.77 million tons/year VCM, 2 million tons/year EDC) and Westlake Chemical (861,826 tons/year PVC, 725,747 tons/year VCM, 1.15 million tons/year EDC).

According to market sources, Westlake Chemical also shut its 520,000 tons/year PVC and 625,000 tons/year EDC units in Geismar. NOVA Chemical’s 977,000 ton/year cracker at the same location went offline, while OxyChem also shut its 315,000 tons/year EDC unit.

Shell Chemical has reportedly brought its two Norco crackers down. Their capacities stand at 625,000 tons/year and 930,000 tons/year.
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