Equistar temporarily idles Texas olefins plant

31 October 2008 13:09  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS news)--Equistar will temporarily idle its olefins unit in La Porte, Texas, due to declining market and economic conditions, its parent company LyondellBasell said on Friday.

The plant, which has a nameplate capacity of 1.7bn pounds/year (771,107 tonnes/year) of ethylene and 700m pounds/year (31,751 tonnes/year) of propylene, was expected to be down until early 2009.

"We have elected to take the olefin plant at La Porte offline for two to three months due to the drop-off in demand for ethylene and propylene as customers adjust year-end inventories and respond to fluid feedstock prices," said Ed Dineen, president of LyondellBasell's chemicals division. 

"Today's tight credit markets and low consumer confidence also are being felt by our customers and this is contributing to decreased demand for petrochemical derivatives,” he added.

Dineen said the unit would be ready to restart sooner if market conditions were to improve.

The company said it would use this down time to conduct opportunity maintenance at the La Porte site. 

Equistar's low density polyethylene (LDPE), linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE), acetic acid and vinyl acetate monomer (VAM) units at the site would not be affected by the shutdown.

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By: Hilde Ovrebekk
+44 20 8652 3214



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