Price and market trends: LyodnellBasell US cracker unaffected by Enterprise pipeline blast

23 August 2013 09:38  [Source: ICB]

Production at LyondellBasell's cracker in Morris, Illinois, US was unaffected by the pipeline explosion on 12 August of an Enterprise Products artery that brought ethane and propane to the plant.

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.

Although no injuries were reported in the Enterprise Products pipeline blast, about 80 nearby families in rural Whiteside County were evacuated as a precaution. Most of the families returned home by 13 August.

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 13 August on weaker natural gas futures.

By: Jeremy Pafford
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