Dow PE plant in Chile to restart after emergency stop

27 January 2012 17:33  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Dow Chemical’s 46,000 tonne/year polyethylene (PE) plant in Talcahuano, Chile, is scheduled to restart on 28 January, after stopping operations on 20 January to correct a malfunction, a company spokesperson said on Friday.

The outage came when there was an abnormal pressure build-up in a polymerisation vessel, which activated the plant’s safety systems, the spokesperson said.

There were no injuries to personnel, the source said.

The problem has been solved and the plant is scheduled to restart on Saturday, when all testing needed to guarantee correct operation of the equipment has been completed, the source added.

The incident had been mistakenly described by outsiders as a fire, because the activation of the safety system sends ethylene to the flare stack, producing a loud noise and a flame, a local chemical engineer said.

Dow expects no disruptions to domestic supply of PE resins.

The Talcahuano plant produces only low density PE (LDPE). Other grades sold in Chile are imported.

For more on polyethylene visit ICIS chemical intelligence

By: George Martin
+1 713 525 2653

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