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US petchem production hit hard by freezing temperatures

by ChemOrbis Editorial Team -
  • 17/02/2021 (11:50)
Multiple petrochemical producers were forced to declare force majeure on PVC, PP and PE supplies from their plants in Texas, the US as freezing weather disrupted petrochemical production across the US Gulf Coast. An unprecedentedly cold weather and ice storms have caused power outages and several refinery shutdowns in Texas since the beginning of this week.

Production News

According to market sources citing customer letters, LyondellBasell declared force majeure on PP, PE as well as upstream ethylene and propylene supplies from Bayport, Lake Charles and Channelview plants in Texas plants due to severely cold weather. The company operates three PP units in Bayport and two others in Lake Charles with a cumulative capacity of around 1.85 million tons/year and 1.4 million tons/year, respectively.

Furthermore, Formosa Plastics Corporation USA declared force majeure on its PP, PE supplies and upstream products from Point Comfort plant in Texas. The complex houses three crackers with a total capacity of around 2.76 million tons/year, a 822,000 tons/year PP plant and a 1.74 million tons/year PE unit.

INEOS Olefins and Polymers USA declared force majeure on its PP supplies from its plant in Chocolate Bayou, Texas. The company operates three PP plants with a combined capacity of around 1.29 million tons/year.

The list of force majeure declarations included the US-based PVC producer Oxychem. The company shut all production units and declared force majeure on PVC supplies as well as upstream products from its plants across the US Gulf Coast. The total PVC and VCM production capacity is around 1.27 million tons/year and 1.76 million tons/year, respectively.

Olin has declared force majeure EDC supplies from its Freeport, Texas, facility. The unit reportedly has 748,000 tons/year EDC capacity. The possible duration for these force majeure declarations or shutdowns was not disclosed at the time of publication.

At the same time, several other plants reported unexpected disruptions amid power outage. Chevron Phillips Chemical experienced process upset at its Port Arthur, Texas complex and its Sweeny cracker was shut due to weather conditions. Flint Hills and Chevron Phillips also faced production hiccups in upstream and downstream chains.
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