Braskem's US PP plant escapes effects of refinery fire in Philadelphia

Author: Al Greenwood

2019/06/21

HOUSTON (ICIS)--A refinery fire in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US, has had no effect on Braskem's operations in the state, the Brazilian polyolefins producer said on Friday.

Braskem owns a polypropylene (PP) plant south of the refinery in Marcus Hook, Pennsylvania. It has two lines that each produce 207,000 tonnes/year. A lot of the propylene for the PP lines comes from a splitter that Braskem bought in 2012. That splitter is also in Marcus Hook.

The fire started earlier in the day at Philadelphia Energy Solutions. The complex had three separate explosions, affecting the refinery's alkylation unit, the company said.

Alkylation units use propylene and isobutane to produce alkylate, a high-octane blendstock.

The product burning is most likely propane, Philadelphia Energy Solutions said. The company confirmed that four people suffered from minor injuries.

The refinery has a capacity of 335,000 bbl/day. In addition to benzene, toluene and xylenes, the refinery also makes propylene and cumene.

The refinery is running at reduced rates.

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The image above shows the refinery on fire. Photo by Matt Rourke/AP/Shutterstock

Additional reporting by Stefan Baumgarten and Tom Brown