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Indorama restarting Texas PO/MTBE plant from Hurricane Laura shutdown

September 23/2020

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Indorama has begun a two-week restart of its Port Neches, Texas, propylene oxide/Methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE) facility, which was shut down in late August because of Hurricane Laura, reported Chemweek.

The restart process began late Thursday evening, according to a Friday regulatory filing.

The plant's outage has been cited as a contributor to recent upward pressure on US Gulf Coast MTBE prices.

The Port Neches MTBE plant, formerly owned by Huntsman, has a listed capacity of 260 million gallon/y (17,000 b/d).

The US Gulf Coast MTBE market tends to be illiquid, with limited production and domestic use effectively banned. US MTBE volumes are exported, primarily to Latin America, where it is used to oxygenate fuel supplies.

Mexico typically ranks as the largest export destination for US MTBE, with Chile also receiving volumes.

Mexico imported 13,982 b/d of MTBE in July, with 10,009 b/d from the US, according to data from PIERS by IHS Markit.

Mexico has averaged 15,150 b/d of MTBE imports for the first seven months of the year, according to the PIERS data.

As MRC informed before, Indorama Ventures expects repairs to its 440,000 mt/year Louisiana cracker could take several months, according to the company's statement August 13 in its second-quarter 2020 earnings release. Lightning struck the cracker Aug. 2, prompting its shutdown. Indorama initially started up the revamped cracker in May 2019, but shut it down several months later for repairs and technical improvements after repeated flaring. The company restarted it in December, and it reached commercial production in February.

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

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's overall PE production totalled 1,712,400 tonnes in the first seven months of 2020, up by 58% year on year. Linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) accounted for the greatest increase in the output. At the same time, overall PP production in Russia increased in January-July 2020 by 24% year on year to 1,063,700 tonne. ZapSibNeftekhim accounted for the main increase in the output.

Indorama Ventures Public Company Limited, listed in Thailand, is one of the world's leading petrochemicals producers, a global manufacturing footprint with 59 sites in 20 countries across Africa, Asia, Europe and North America. The company's portfolio is comprises necessities and high value-added (HVA) categories of polymers, fibers, and packaging. Indorama Ventures has approx. 24,000 employees worldwide and consolidated revenue of USD 11.4 billion in 2019.
Author:Margaret Volkova
Tags:PP, PE, LLDPE, propylene, ethylene, Indorama Ventures PLC, Russia, USA.
Category:General News
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