Chevron Phillips flares Texas cracker on freezing weather

03 February 2011 15:36  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Chevron Phillips Chemical reported flaring from its Sweeny 24 cracker in Texas, citing freezing weather in the region, in a filing available on Thursday.

“Due to freezing weather, the level indicator transmitters froze, resulting in a false level indication on the depropanizer,” the company said in the filing with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ).

Chevron Phillips did not say what impact the upset had on operations at the 676,000 tonne/year unit.

The company does not comment on its operations, according to a spokesperson.

The cracker in Sweeny is one of several olefins units in the US Gulf affected by record low temperatures this week.

Shell, ExxonMobil, LyondellBasell and Sasol were all heard to have problems.

Several derivative plants were down as well, a market source said.

The cold weather can disrupt operations at steam crackers by interfering with instrument readings and causing water to freeze.

US ethylene bid/offers for February rose to 47–50 cents/lb ($1,036–1,102/tonne, €746–793/tonne) on Thursday. The monomer traded at 47 cents/lb on Wednesday and 43.125–44.500 cents/lb last week.

US ethylene prices rose sharply in January 2010 after several US crackers went down because of freezing weather in the US Gulf after the turn of the year.

($1 = €0.72)

For more on ethylene visit ICIS chemical intelligence
For more on Chevron Phillips Chemical plants, visit ICIS plants and projects
To discuss issues facing the chemical industry, go to ICIS connect

By: William Lemos
+1 713 525 2653

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