UpdateMore firms shut US chem plants as Hurricane Isaac nears

More firms shut US chem plants as Hurricane Isaac nears

28 August 2012 22:28  [Source: ICIS news]

Hurricane Isaac(adds details, updates throughout)

HOUSTON (ICIS)--More companies shut down plants on Tuesday as Hurricane Isaac has strengthened during its approach towards Louisiana.

Isaac's centre was about 105 miles (170km) southeast of New Orleans, according to the National Hurricane Center. It was travelling northwest at about 8 miles/hour.

Isaac has strengthened, and its maximum sustained wind speeds were now at 80 miles/hour, the centre said.

The centre warned that Isaac could bring storm surges, heavy rain and tornados along the US Gulf coast. The storm could make landfall later on Tuesday.

Hurricanes can disrupt the North American petrochemical industry, since oil and gas production is concentrated in the Gulf of Mexico and many of the country's refineries and petrochemical plants are on the US Gulf coast.

So far, several petrochemical plants and refineries have either reduced operating rates or shut down in preparation for Hurricane Isaac. Shutdowns include BASF and Huntsman's complexes in Geismar, Louisiana.

Companies have shut in nearly all of the crude oil production in the Gulf of Mexico and more than half of its natural gas production.

In addition, Isaac has also disrupted logistics, with the port of New Orleans shutting down cargo operations and the port of South Louisiana closing.

The Louisiana Offshore Oil Port (LOOP) began shutting down marine operations and suspended oil tanker deliveries on Monday afternoon in anticipation of Isaac's landfall.

US-based CSX has curtailed rail service in and around New Orleans, Louisiana, in preparation of Hurricane Isaac.

Service will remained curtailed until the storm passes and tracks are inspected, repaired and reopened, according to a statement by Carla Groleau, CSX spokeswoman.

The following companies have announced that they are either reducing operating rates or shutting down plants.

Company

Product

Site

Status

BASF

MDI, TDI, BDO, EO

Geismar

shut

Cornerstone Chemicals

melamine

Waggaman

shut

CF Industries

fertilizers

Donaldsonville

shut

ExxonMobil

refined products

Chalmette

shut

ExxonMobil

refined products

Baton Rouge

reduced

Huntsman

MDI, MA

Geismar

shut

Marathon

refined products

Garyville

reduced

Mosaic

fertilizers

Faustina

shut

Mosaic

fertilizers

Uncle Sam

shut

Motiva

refined products

Convent

shut

Motiva

refined products

Norco

reduced

Olin

chlor-alkalis

St Gabriel

shut

Olin

chlor-alkalis

McIntosh, Alabama

shut

Phillips 66

refined products

Belle Chasse

shut

PotashCorp

fertilizers

Geismar

shut

Shell

refined products

Geismar

shut

Shell

refined products

Mobile, Alabama

reduced

Valero

refined products

St Charles

shut

Valero

refined products

Meraux

shut

Additional reporting by Stefan Baumgarten, Wesley Busch, John Dietrich, Ken Fountain, Lane Kelley, Michelle Klump, Anna Matherne, Larry Terry and Frank Zaworski
By: Al Greenwood
+1 713 525 2645



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