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Three crackers cautiously restarting in US after Harvey, Qxy declares FM on PVC

by ChemOrbis Editorial Team -
  • 01/09/2017 (12:07)
According to market sources, producers are slowly trying to recover from the devastating impacts of Harvey. There crackers are preparing to restart their operations, although there are many of them still shut as more than 50% of US ethylene capacity remains offline.

You can check the graph that shows how much of the capacity for polymers and monomers in the US was taken offline in the post-Harvey period in this story .

As of late Thursday, ExxonMobil’s olefins plant at Baytown was partially operating, according to market sources. The producer shut this complex with 2.42 million tons/year ethylene capacity Sunday in the aftermath of Harvey. The company’s Beaumont chemical complex with 827,000 tons/year ethylene capacity remained offline, meanwhile.

Dow Chemical has restarted a 1 million tons/year cracker at its Freeport, Texas, although the company is still considering cutting rates at its Texas and Louisiana complexes owing to constraints of infrastructure and logistics, as was noted in yesterday’s news .

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

Meanwhile, OxyVinyls declared force majeure on its PVC supplies from Houston. The company’s PVC plants in Pasadena, Texas have a 1 billion tons/year capacity while its plant in Deer Park, Texas has a capacity of 250,000 tons/year.

The company’s force majeure declaration is applicable to its domestic sales as well as its export sales. The company suspended its operations last Friday before Harvey landed.

Accordingly, OxyVinyls is reportedly expected to ask for an increase of 5 cents/lb ($110/ton) for October domestic PVC prices. This is also expected to find reflection on export offers, naturally.
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