US plant shutdowns continue on Hurricane Ike

12 September 2008 17:18  [Source: ICIS news]

IkeHOUSTON (ICIS news)--Petrochemical producers along the Texas Gulf coast continued to shut down their plants on Friday as Hurricane Ike threatened to cause widespread damage and disruptions.

Invista was shutting down its complex in Orange, Texas, the company said in a filing with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ).

The Invista plant has an adipic acid (ADA) capacity of 220,000 tonnes/year and an adiponitrile (ADN) capacity of 240,000 tonnes/year, according to ICIS news.

Invista's shutdown came as Hurricane Ike continues its approach towards Houston, the nation's petrochemical hub.

As of 10:00 hours Houston time (15:00 GMT), the massive storm was about 195 miles (320km) southeast of Galveston, Texas, according to the National Hurricane Center, and moving west-northwest at about 12 miles/hour, the centre said.

The storm is expected to turn north on Saturday.

Maximum winds were about 105 miles/hour, making Ike a category 2 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale, the centre said. Ike's wind speeds could exceed 111 miles/hour before it makes landfall, making it a major, category 3 hurricane.

Several companies started shutdown procedures on Thursday, when Ike was farther away.

Chevron Phillips Chemical said it was shutting down several units at its Cedar Bayou site in Baytown, Texas.

The products made at the complex include 803,000 tonnes/year of ethylene (C2), 455,000 tonnes/year of propylene (C3), 350,000 tonnes/year of linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) and 280,000 tonnes/year of low density PE (LDPE).

Chevron Phillips was also closing several units at its Port Arthur complex in Texas, the company said.

Products made at the Port Arthur site include 415,000 tonnes/year of cyclohexane (CX), 803,000 tonnes/year of C2, 500,000 tonnes/year of C3 and 145,000 tonnes/year of toluene.

Flint Hills Resources was shutting down its complex in Port Arthur, it said.

The site makes 210,000 tonnes/year of benzene, 310,000 tonnes/year of CX, 621,000 tonnes/year of C2 and 365,000 tonnes/year of C3.

ExxonMobil was closing units at its Baytown complex in Texas. Products produced at the site include 600,000 tonnes/year of benzene, 150,000 tonnes/year of butadiene, 1,179,000 tonnes/year of C2 and 274,000 tonnes/year of polypropylene (PP).

DuPont is shutting down its analine unit at its complex in Beaumont, Texas, the company said.

DuPont's complex in Beaumont has a capacity of 185,000 tonnes/year of acrylonitrile (ACN), 150,000 tonnes/year of analine and 200,000 tonnes/year of nitrobenzene.

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By: Al Greenwood
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