HOUSTON (CNI)--Shell Chemicals said Tuesday it has restarted its olefins 2 (OP2) unit at Deer Park, Texas and expects to have the plant back to full capacity within a few days.
The 91 000 tonne/year OP2 unit was knocked off-line on 8 July when a water cooling tower serving the plant collapsed. The tower collapse also forced shutdown of Shell's benzene extraction unit at the site.
Shell Chemicals spokesman Dave McKinney told CNI that the OP2 unit was restarted over the weekend and that the benzene extraction unit was restarted earlier. He said both the OP2 unit and the benzene unit "are operating at reduced rates and heading toward full capacity."
McKinney said Shell has made temporary repairs to the damaged cooling tower and that work is continuing on a permanent fix. He said the investigation into the tower collapse also is continuing.
Shell stated earlier that the collapse of the cooling tower has had no effect on work already under way to expand capacity of the OP2 unit to about 590 000 tonne with a completion date of second half 2003.
The Shell Chemicals complex at Deer Park is located some 20 miles east of Houston on the Houston Ship Channel.