18 December 2008 17:38 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS news)--Equistar said on Thursday it would temporarily shut down its Chocolate Bayou olefins plant in Texas, the eighth US cracker to go off line since monomer demand began to sink in October.
“The olefins unit is expected to remain out of service until sufficient demand for petrochemical derivatives resumes,” Equistar said.
The shutdown at the 544,000 tonne/year unit in Chocolate Bayou is the second announced by Equistar in the last 45 days.
The company on 31 October idled its La Porte olefins plant in Texas. The 789,000 tonnes/year unit was expected to be off line for 2-3 months, Equistar said at the time.
Equistar is a subsidiary of LyondellBasell.
Total US olefins capacity estimated to be off line is 6.6m tonnes, including two crackers in Texas that are down since September due to hurricane-incurred damage.
However, the figure does not include a sharp reduction announced by Dow Chemical at its large Freeport complex in Texas. Nor does it include the permanent shutdown announced by Flint Hills Resources in Odessa, Texas.
Dow said on 4 December it would cut operating rates in Freeport to less than 40% of capacity. Dow has 75 production units at the site, including two crackers with combined capacity of 1.6m tonnes/year.
US ethylene installed capacity is estimated at 28.6m tonnes/year, according to ICIS.
Other reduction and stoppages at US olefins plants include:
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