LyondellBasell shuts down EO plant in Bayport, Texas

20 January 2012 18:58  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--LyondellBasell on Friday would not provide an update on the shutdown of its Equistar Chemicals ethylene oxide (EO) plant in Bayport, Texas.

The plant was shut down on Thursday night after a temporary repair on a recycle drum kickback line failed, releasing 30,000 gal (114,000 litres) of water, according to a filing with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ).

As a result, about 100 lb (45 kg) of ethylene oxide was released into the atmosphere, the company said in the filing.

“The unit was shut down and all equipment was bottled up to prevent further releases,” the filing said. “The water line is currently being repaired.”

LyondellBasell’s Bayport plant has an ethylene oxide capacity of 360,000 tonnes/year, according to ICIS plants and projects.

The shutdown could further tighten the EO market, according to market players.

Talk of tightness in the EO market began about two weeks ago.

The tightening is due to a problem with BASF’s EO unit in Geismar, Louisiana, according to market players. 

Sources in Europe and the US said the company declared a force majeure on EO through February.

BASF did not respond to inquiries for information.

"We have had to reduce ethylene glycol [EG] rates because of the problems with the BASF EO production," an EG producer said. "Further shutdowns would obviously cause the market to tighten further."

EO is a main feedstock in the production of EG.

Additional reporting by Leela Landress

For more on EO visit ICIS chemical intelligence

By: Bobbie Clark
+1 713 525 2653

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