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US Gulf Coast refiners, petrochemical producers shut down as Laura approaches

August 26/2020

MOSCOW (MRC) -- US Gulf Coast refiners and petrochemical producers are battening down the hatches in preparation for Hurricane Laura, which is forecast to make landfall near the Texas-Louisiana border Wednesday night or Thursday, according to Chemweek.

The National Hurricane Center has declared a hurricane watch for the stretch of coast extending from San Luis Pass, Texas, just south of Houston, to Intracoastal City, Louisiana, east of Lake Charles, a region that includes almost 70% of US olefins production capacity.

Several chemical producers are shutting down in advance of the hurricane, according to air emission event reports submitted to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ). CPChem intends to shut down its Pasadena plastics complex, where the company has about 1 million metric tons/year (MMt/y) of polyethylene capacity. Motiva Chemicals is shutting down its steam cracker at Port Arthur, which has 0.7 MMt/y of ethylene capacity and 0.2 MMt/y of polymer-grade propylene (PGP) capacity. INEOS is shutting down its Olefins 1 steam cracker at Chocolate Bayou, which has 0.9 MMt/y of ethylene capacity and 0.3 MMt/y of PGP capacity.

In Lake Charles, there are approximately 850,000 b/d of refining capacity. On Tuesday, Phillips 66 said it is shutting down its Lake Charles complex, which includes a 273,000 b/d refinery. CITGO confirmed that it is shutting down its 440,000-b/d refinery in Lake Charles.

Port Arthur-Beaumont, Texas, has more than 1.6 million b/d of refining capacity. OPIS reported on Monday that Motiva has filed a shutdown report with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality for its 607,000-b/d refinery as well as its chemical plant. Total's 225,000-b/d Port Arthur facility was reportedly reducing runs to minimum levels.

ExxonMobil said it was preparing for severe weather at its 384,400-b/d Beaumont refinery, but as of late Monday afternoon the company said operations were normal. Market sources say Valero's 415,000-b/d Port Arthur refinery is also shutting down, but the company has not yet offered confirmation. Calcasieu has idled its 137,000-b/d refinery.

Tuesday the Port of Houston said it expects to be fully closed Wednesday and possibly Thursday, depending on the storm track.

As MRC reported earlier, Motiva Enterprises may shut the largest crude oil refinery in the United States for the passage of Hurricane Marco and Tropical Storm Laura later this week. The companys 607,000 barrel-per-day (bpd) refinery in the coastal city of Port Arthur, Texas, could be drenched by both storms between Tuesday and the end of the week based on current forecasts.

Ethylene and propylene are feedstocks for producing polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP).

According to MRC's DataScope report, PE imports to Russia dropped in January-June 2020 by 7% year on year to 328,000 tonnes. High density polyethylene (HDPE) accounted for the main decrease in imports. At the same time, PP imports into Russia rose in the first six months of 2020 by 21% year on year to 105,300 tonnes. Propylene homopolymer (homopolymer PP) accounted for the main increase in imports.
Author:Margaret Volkova
Tags:PP, PE, crude and gaz condensate, homopolymer PP, propylene, HDPE, ethylene, petrochemistry, Chevron Phillips, Citgo petroleum corporation, Exxon Mobil, Ineos, Motiva Enterprises, Phillips 66, Valero, Russia, USA.
Category:General News
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