09 August 2013 21:49 [Source: ICIS news]
NEW YORK (ICIS)--Huntsman has declared force majeure (FM) on its ethylene glycol (EG) on the back of production issues at one its ethylene oxide (EO) units at Port Neches, Texas, a market source said on Friday.
A tower at Huntsman’s larger F6 EO unit has a crack, which caused the company to announce the FM on Thursday, the market source said.
The F6 unit, which feeds crude to the glycol unit, is estimated to be down for approximately three weeks, the source said.
A Huntsman company official confirmed that a routine inspection on Monday revealed unexpected signs of stress cracking in the EO unit. Huntsman shut down the unit a safety precaution.
“Because the affected EO unit is integrated with the monoethylene glycol (MEG) unit, production of MEG was unavoidably discontinued. As a result, Huntsman declared force majeure on MEG supplies to its customers effective [8 August 2013], and notified customers accordingly,” the Huntsman official said.
Both the EO and MEG units are expected to be returned to service by the last week in August, according to Huntsman.
Meanwhile, during an outage at the company’s G6 EG unit, a gasket on a check valve failed because of high ambient temperatures, which led to the release of approximately 10 lb or more of ethylene oxide (EO) into the environment, according to a filing on Thursday with Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ).
Late in July, the F6 EO unit was temporarily shut down during equipment calibration when a high oxygen reading shut down the unit’s pumps and caused some EO to be vented. In that instance, full operation was restored six hours after the shut down.
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