US Dow takes $100m earnings hit on Plaquemine cracker outages

23 July 2014 16:56 Source:ICIS News

HOUSTON (ICIS)--The outage at Dow Chemical's two crackers in Plaquemine, Louisiana cost it $100m in earnings, the company said on Wednesday.

Dow shut down the crackers on 20 April because of two separate process incidents.

As a result, the company's downstream units ran at reduced rates, since the company's ability to buy ethylene on the market was less than 50% of its production capability, according to a statement by Jennifer Kitt, Dow spokeswoman.

The cost of the outage was slightly more than $100m because of lost margins on ethylene, lower utilisation rates for ethylene derivatives and spending.

Dow was able to quickly restart the crackers, and it continues to run its plants at maximum rates, Kitt said.

The company’s Plaquemine site has an ethylene capacity of 1.257m tonnes/year.

The following lists Dow's units at Plaquemine, listing the capacity as tonnes/year.

Benzene

335,000

Benzene

400,000

Caustic soda

1,000,000

Chlorine

885,000

Diethylene glycol

20,000

Ethylene

499,000

Ethylene

758,000

Ethylene oxide

275,000

Ethylene-propylene-diene terpolyomer

100,000

Methyl chloride

112,000

Perchloroethylene

40,000

Polyethylene linear low density

545,000

Polyethylene low density

185,000

Propylene

365,000

Propylene glycol

190,000

Propylene oxide

330,000

Toluene

50,000

Triethylene glycol

20,000

Source: ICIS plants and projects

By Al Greenwood