Hurricane Isaac knocks out power, roads in Louisiana

29 August 2012 16:44  [Source: ICIS news]

Isaac causes floodsHOUSTON (ICIS)--Hurricane Isaac left large parts of southern Louisiana without power and several roads closed as the storm continued pounding the state on Wednesday.

Entergy, the region's main power provider, reported that more than 409,000 customers were without power as of 500 hours New Orleans time (1000 GMT).

Strong winds were preventing the company from restoring power, the company said.

An Entergy map showed that lines were down in several parts of southeast Louisiana, an area with several refineries and petrochemical plants.

Phillips 66 said it shut down its 247,000 bbl/day Alliance Refinery in Belle Chasse, which was without power. Phillips 66 said it had yet to determine if flooding had damaged the refinery.

Phillips 66 said its 239,000 bbl/day Lake Charles Refinery in Westlake, Louisiana, remained in operation.

Likewise, the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development issued a map, warning of several restrictions along the state's roads, especially in the southeastern part of the state.

The Associated Press (AP) reported that Isaac overwhelmed a levee in a rural town outside of New Orleans. However, the levee did not break.

Moreover, there were no reports of water going over the top of the New Orleans levees, which were strengthened after Hurricane Katrina.

Wednesday is the seventh anniversary of Katrina. Hurricane Isaac made landfall a day earlier.

Isaac was 45 miles (75km) southwest of New Orleans, travelling northwest at 6 miles/hour, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Despite making landfall, Isaac was still a hurricane, with maximum sustained wind speeds of 75 miles/hour.

The centre warned that Isaac could still produce storm surges and flooding throughout the area until the end of the day.

Already, a storm surge of nearly 8 feet (2.4 metres) was reported at Shell Beach, Louisiana, and Waveland, Mississippi, the centre said.

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)shut down marine operations and suspended oil tanker deliveries.

US-based railroad CSX has curtailed service in and around New Orleans, Louisiana.

The following companies have announced that they were 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

Valero

refined products

Memphis, Tennessee

reduced

Additional reporting by Stefan Baumgarten, Wesley Busch, John Dietrich, Brian Ford, Ken Fountain, Lane Kelley, Michelle Klump, Anna Matherne, Larry Terry and Frank Zaworski


By: Al Greenwood
+1 713 525 2645



AddThis Social Bookmark Button

For the latest chemical news, data and analysis that directly impacts your business sign up for a free trial to ICIS news - the breaking online news service for the global chemical industry.

Get the facts and analysis behind the headlines from our market leading weekly magazine: sign up to a free trial to ICIS Chemical Business.

Printer Friendly

ICIS news FREE TRIAL
Get access to breaking chemical news as it happens.
ICIS Global Petrochemical Index (IPEX)
ICIS Global Petrochemical Index (IPEX). Download the free tabular data and a chart of the historical index

Related Articles