LyondellBasell US cracker production unaffected by pipeline blast

13 August 2013 22:50  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Production at LyondellBasell’s cracker in Morris, Illinois, was unaffected by the pipeline explosion late on Monday night of an Enterprise Products artery that brought ethane and propane to the plant, a spokesperson said on Tuesday.

The cracker was already set up to obtain the feedstocks via “alternate avenues” in case of an event such as the blast, said David Harpole, director of global media affairs for the chemical producer.

The Enterprise pipeline exploded late on Monday night. Although no injuries were reported, about 80 nearby families in rural Whiteside County were evacuated as a precaution. Most of the families returned home by Tuesday morning.

Enterprise was able to cut off the pipeline remotely after the blast, said Rick Rainey, a spokesperson with the company.

The 40,000 bbl/day pipeline is a lateral line that serves the LyondellBasell cracker in Morris with a mixture of ethane and propane.

The LyondellBasell plant has a nameplate capacity of 549,000 tonnes/year of ethylene, 90,000 tonnes/year of propylene, 295,425 tonnes/year of linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) and 275,000 tonnes/year of low density polyethylene (LDPE), according to ICIS plants and projects.

Investigation into the explosion is underway, Rainey said. No cause is known at this point, although foul play is not suspected, he said.

There is no timetable for the line to be returned to service, Rainey said.

The explosion had little effect on the ethane spot market, as prices fell to 23.75 cents/gal on Tuesday due to weaker natural gas futures.


By: Jeremy Pafford
+1 713 525 2653



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