LyondellBasell seeks feedstock options after Texas NGL fire

09 February 2011 21:42  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--LyondellBasell is exploring feedstock options at its La Porte cracker in Texas following the fire at its supplier’s natural gas liquids (NGL) facility in Mont Belvieu, the producer said on Wednesday.

LyondellBasell said it was still operating under reduced rates at its La Porte cracker in Texas, but its Channelview cracker and methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) operations were running at planned rates.

“We have considerable feedstock flexibility at Channelview and have adjusted the feedstock slate to maintain normal operations,” said company spokesman David Harpole.

The reduced rates in La Porte were announced on Tuesday, following a fire at supplier Enterprise Products’ natural gas liquids (NGL) facility in Mont Belvieu, Texas.

LyondellBasell receives ethane and propane from Enterprise for La Porte and ethane for Channelview, according to Bloomberg.

Harpole said that La Porte cracker rates would remain reduced until the company could increase its olefins feedstock supplies.

“We are exploring our options to increase olefins feedstock supply at La Porte that include Enterprise and other pipelines” Harpole said. “We anticipate that we will have additional flexibility at La Porte in the near term.”

The La Porte cracker has 789,000 tonnes/year of ethylene capacity, according to ICIS plants and projects.

Meanwhile, LyondellBasell’s Channelview cracker and MTBE operations were not interrupted because that complex contains an adjustable feedstock slate, Harpole said.

LyondellBasell operates two crackers in Channelview, each with a capacity of 873,000 tonnes/year, according to ICIS plants and projects.

Enterprise's complex in Mont Belvieu is one of the world's largest underground storage centres for natural gas liquids (NGLs). Crackers in the US rely on ethane as feedstock for ethylene.

The Mont Belvieu fire was burning out on Wednesday, but ethane and ethylene costs were rising amid talk of reduced cracker rates.

 (Additional reporting by Ben DuBose)

For more on LyondellBasell visit ICIS company intelligence
For more on ethylene and MTBE visit ICIS chemical intelligence
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By: Sheena Martin
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