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US Flint Hills to keep non-essential staff out of Pine Bend refinery after Thanksgiving holiday

November 26/2020

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Flint Hills Resources will keep non-essential staff out its of 375,000-bpd Pine Bend refinery in Rosemount, Minnesota, for one week after Thanksgiving to prevent the spread of COVID-19, reported Reuters with reference to a source familiar with the matter.

The plant is expected to continue operating normally. The decision affects most refinery staff and outside contractors other than those essential to the plant's operations, according to the source.

The company declined to comment on the decision, but a spokesman said Flint Hills continues to focus on operations and the health and safety of its staff.

Minnesota has seen an uptick in coronavirus cases in recent weeks. The state's health department reported 6,423 newly confirmed or probable cases of the disease on Tuesday, as well as 38 additional deaths.

Millions of Americans have flocked to airports and highways in the days before Thursdays Thanksgiving holiday against the advice of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the US surgeon general and Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nations top infectious disease expert.

This has led to the busiest US travel period since the early days of the pandemic in March, though well below pre-pandemic holiday levels.

The daily US death toll from COVID-19 surpassed 2,000 on Tuesday for the first time since May.

As MRC informed previously, in November 2019, Motiva Enterprises, the US refining arm of Saudi Aramco, acquired 100% of Flint Hills Resources chemical plant, adjacent to its Port Arthur, Texas, oil refinery. The Flint Hills plant operates a 1.57 billion-pound-per-year ethylene cracker, a unit producing nylon component cyclohexane, and a network of pipelines and storage caverns.

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

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 1,594,510 tonnes in the first nine months of 2020, up by 1% year on year. Only high denstiy polyethylene (HDPE) shipments increased. At the same time, PP shipments to the Russian market reached 880,130 tonnes in the nine months of 2020 (calculated using the formula: production minus exports plus imports, excluding producers' inventories as of 1 January, 2020). Supply increased exclusively of PP random copolymer.
Author:Margaret Volkova
Tags:PP, PE, crude and gaz condensate, PP random copolymer, propylene, HDPE, ethylene, petrochemistry, Flint Hills Resources, Motiva Enterprises, Saudi Aramco, Russia, USA.
Category:General News
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