ExxonMobil begins planned maintenance at Louisiana cracker

07 September 2011 19:09  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--ExxonMobil has shut down its Baton Rouge cracker in Louisiana for planned maintenance, market sources said on Wednesday.

The turnaround at the 1m tonne/year cracker was scheduled to begin on Tuesday, according to a recorded message left late on Monday on a community hotline at the site.

The message said flaring was expected throughout the week, particularly early on Tuesday.

The cracker is expected to be off line for 45 days, according to market sources.

An ExxonMobil spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment.

The shutdown in Baton Rouge is part of a heavy turnaround season in September and October, during which four US crackers are being taken off line.

The first cracker to go down was Formosa Plastics's 816,000 tonne/year Point Comfort Olefins II unit in Texas, which was taken off line on 1 September for a 40-day turnaround.

ExxonMobil followed with the shutdown in Baton Rouge this week, while Shell is expected to be next, with a 45-day turnaround planned for 1 October at its 835,000 tonne/year Deer Park plant in Texas.

Dow Chemical will also have a shutdown in October, market sources said.

The company will take its 610,000 tonne/year St Charles cracker in Louisiana down on 10 October for 30 days.

Shell and Dow Chemical have not responded to requests for comments.

US ethylene spot prices are down this week despite the production loss from Formosa and ExxonMobil.

Ethylene for September traded on Wednesday at 60.375 cents/lb ($1,331/tonne, €958/tonne), down from deals done at 63.000-63.875 cents/lb last week.

($1 = €0.72)

For more on ethylene visit ICIS chemical intelligence
For more on ExxonMobil’s plants visit ICIS plants and projects

By: William Lemos
+1 713 525 2653

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