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Celanese declares force majeure due to impact of US deep freeze

February 19/2021

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Celanese has declared force majeure on its products in the Americas and EMEA region due to the severe winter weather that has heavily curtailed US petrochemicals and refinery production and operations on the US Gulf Coast, reported Chemweek.

As a result of the extreme weather’s impact on Celanese’s operations and “the unplanned shutdowns and force majeure declarations of many of its suppliers and service providers in the Texas Gulf Coast,” the company says it has declared force majeure on the following products: acetic acid, vinyl acetate monomer, ethyl acetate, acetic anhydride, methyl acetate, vinyl and acrylic emulsions, redispersible powders, ethylene vinyl acetate, dimethylamine, trimethylamine, methyl isobutyl carbinol, methyl isobutyl ketone, and paraformaldehyde.

Sustained temperatures below freezing at Celanese’s operating sites and those of its suppliers and logistics partners “have resulted in the inability of Celanese sites to receive natural gas, electricity, industrial gas, potable and firefighting water, and other raw materials necessary to safely and reliably operate the plants,” it says. “Without access to such utilities, Celanese has been forced to shut down its impacted production facilities until they can be operated safely and consistently.” Due to the shutdowns, Celanese says it is “forced to curtail its western hemisphere production” of the listed products and declare force majeure under its sales contracts.

The company says it will continue to assess the regional and global impact of the force majeure, but that “given that this is a rapidly developing situation, Celanese cannot provide any specific details or timing of the full impact to all customers.” Account managers will communicate with customers to discuss allocation volumes as soon as possible, it says, with Celanese to provide notice of when production will resume “as we continue to assess the effect of the weather on our production facilities and infrastructure, as well as those of our suppliers and logistics providers.”

About 70% or more of US light olefins capacity had been shut down or was running at reduced rates due to the impact of Winter Storm Uri, mainly on facilities in Texas and Louisiana. Aromatics have also been hit hard, with over 70% of US benzene capacity, 76% of toluene capacity, and 83% of mixed xylenes capacity shut down or cut back.

As MRC informed previously, in October, 2020, Celanese (Dallas, Texas) announced plans to add a 15,000-metric tons/year line for the production of GUR ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) at its facility in Bishop, Texas. Startup is expected by the beginning of 2022.

According to MRC's DataScope report, November EVA imports to Russia rose by 6,67% year on year to 3,650 tonnes from 3,420 tonnes a year earlier, and overall imports of this grade of ethylene copolymer into the Russian Federation dropped in January-November 2020 by 3,44% year on year to 34,680 tonnes (35,920 tonnes a year earlier).

Celanese Corporation is a global technology leader in the production of differentiated chemistry solutions and specialty materials used in most major industries and consumer applications. Based in Dallas, Celanese employs approximately 7,700 employees worldwide and had 2019 net sales of USD6.3 billion.
Author:Margaret Volkova
Tags:PE, vinilacetat, EVA, LDPE, copolymer, ethylene, Celanese, Russia, USA.
Category:General News
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