US Chevron Phillips declares force majeure on PE

14 May 2013 21:05  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US polyethylene (PE) producer Chevron Phillips Chemical declared force majeure on the resin, based on troubles affecting the company's production of ethylene, sources said on Tuesday.

The company reported a loss of power and steam at its Sweeny cracker in Texas on 11 May, which caused several process units to shut down or experience operational difficulties, according to filings with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) and the National Response Center (NRC).

The Sweeny site has a combined ethylene capacity of 1.878m tonnes/year.

The company is still in the midst of a 60-day planned turnaround at its Port Arthur cracker in Texas. That turnaround began on 8 April.

"Due to issues affecting Chevron Phillips Chemical Company LP's production of ethylene, we have experienced a contingency event and are in a force majeure situation with respect to CPChem's polyethylene supply," the company said in a 14 May letter to PE customers.

Allocation levels were not outlined in the letter.

"We are in the process of evaluating the expected duration and will provide you with updates as more information becomes available," the letter states.

It was not clear how the force majeure would impact different grades of PE.

Chevron Phillips has a 280,000 tonne/year capacity low density polyethylene (LDPE) unit in Cedar Bayou, Texas; a 414,000 tonne/year high density polyethylene (HDPE) plant in Orange, Texas; a 1,037,000 tonne/year HDPE plant in Pasadena, Texas; a 372,000 tonne/year HDPE plant in Cedar Bayou, Texas; and a 350,000 tonne/year linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) plant in Cedar Bayou, Texas, according to ICIS plants and projects.

By: Michelle Klump
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