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Limetree Bay refinery decommissioning will take months

August 05/2021

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The process of decommissioning the shuttered Limetree Bay refinery in the US Virgin Islands will take several months, the company's owner told a Texas bankruptcy court, reported Reuters.

Limetree Bay, which filed last month for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, has engaged investment bank Jefferies Financial Group Inc to run the sale of the plant, likely in its entirety.

Owners of the facility in St. Croix burned through USD4.1 billion to resurrect what was once the largest refinery in the Western Hemisphere, hoping to take advantage of rising global demand. Instead, the refinery only operated for three months before US environmental regulators shut it in May due to foul odors and noxious releases that harmed nearby communities.

"We probably will completely shut the plant down," Elizabeth Green, lead bankruptcy attorney for Limetree, said in a hearing on Monday. "But I'm not 100% sure that decision has been made."

Limetree would have needed at least USD1 billion to finish a massive overhaul to continue as a viable operation, according to bankers, lawyers and restructuring specialists involved in the case who spoke to Reuters in July.

The plant must now release gases and hydrocarbons from its system. Over the weekend, Limetree successfully re-tested a flare that was damaged during a May incident with EPA inspectors present, according to Green. The US Environmental Protection Agency must approve the removal of hydrocarbons from the plant.

As MRC wrote before, in July, 2021, a US bankruptcy judge raised concerns that Limetree Bay refinery on the Virgin Islands may not have enough money to get through the early days of its Chapter 11 restructuring.

Ethylene and propylene are the main feedstocks for the production of polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP), respectively.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 953,400 tonnes in the first five months of 2021, which virtually corresponded to the same figure a year earlier. High denisty polyethylene (HDPE) shipments decreased. At the same time, PP shipments to the Russian market were 607,8900 tonnes in January-May 2021, up by 33% year on year. Shipments of homopolymer PP and PP block copolymers increased, whereas deliveries of PP random copolymers decreased.
Author:Margaret Volkova
Tags:crude and gaz condensate, propylene, ethylene, petrochemistry, USA.
Category:General News
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