UpdateBraskem shuts down Pennsylvania PP plant ahead of hurricane

29 October 2012 20:53  [Source: ICIS news]

Hurricane Sandy approaches(Adds updates throughout)

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Braskem plans to shut down its polypropylene plant in Marcus Hook, Pennsylvania for two days in preparation for Hurricane Sandy, the company said on Monday.

Braskem's 345,000 bbl/day plant joins several refineries that announced temporary shutdowns or reduced rates, and area ports and freight rails suspended shipping services as the storm drew closer to the US northeast coast.

This year's Atlantic hurricane season, which has been relatively quiet until Hurricane Sandy, could cause up to $20bn (€15.4bn) in economic damages, said Eqecat, a consulting firm that helps manage hurricane risks.

The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and NASDAQ were closed Monday and will remain closed on Tuesday. NYSE Euronext (NYX) will also close on Tuesday in coordination with all U.S. equities, bonds, options and derivatives markets.

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) said Hurricane Sandy is moving more quickly toward southern New Jersey and is expected to make landfall early this evening.

As of 1400 New York time on Monday (1800 GMT), the centre was about 110 miles (180km) southeast of Atlantic City, New Jersey, a NHC public advisory said. The storm is moving northwest at about 28 mph (44 km/hour) with maximum sustained winds reported at 90 mph.

“This storm is going to continue to bring strong winds, elevated water levels in the coastal area,” said NHC director Rick Knabb during a conference call.

Long Island Sound and the New York Harbour areas can expect see a storm surge of 6-11 feet (1.8-3.6 metres) above ground level, the NHC said.

The full moon will affect the tide, adding a foot or two, Knabb said. Water levels may not return to normal until Wednesday night or Thursday morning.

“Sandy is unique in a number of ways,” he said. “It’s not common for a system to come in at this strength, coming from this direction toward the Jersey coast at this time of year.”

The hurricane has also affected other corporate operations.

FMC Corporation was scheduled to release its third quarter results on Monday, followed by a conference call on Tuesday. However, the chemical company based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, said it has cancelled the conference call, citing personnel safety reasons.

By: Tracy Dang
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