Leak delays restart of Flint Hills cracker in Texas

07 August 2012 19:52  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--A leak has delayed the restart of Flint Hills Resources' (FHR) Port Arthur cracker in Texas, the company said in a public filing on Tuesday, adding that it discovered the leak during the start-up process of the unit.

FHR shut down the 621,000 tonne/year cracker for repairs in the last week of July because of a steam leak on a bleeder line.

The company attempted to restart the cracker on Monday, but the process was halted when a leak was discovered on an injection line located at the de-ethaniser tower, FHR said.

"Due to the leak, the LOU [Light Olefins Unit] was taken out of service and the tower is in the process of being de-inventoried for repairs," FHR said in the filing with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ).

Emissions associated with the procedure are expected to last until 13 August, the filing said.

FHR does not comment on its operations.

The extended outage at the cracker is likely behind an increase in ethylene spot prices so far this week, market sources said.

US ethylene for August traded at 50 cents/lb ($1,102/tonne, €893/tonne) on Tuesday, up from deals done at 48.00-48.25 cents/lb last week.

($1 = €0.81)

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By: William Lemos
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