INEOS declares FM on US ethanolamines on EO disruption in Louisiana

Author: Al Greenwood

2019/11/06

HOUSTON (ICIS)--INEOS Oxide declared force majeure (FM) on US ethanolamines at its plant in Plaquemine, Louisiana, because of a disruption of ethylene oxide (EO) supply, according to a customer letter obtained on Wednesday.

Manfred Bail/imageBROKER/ShutterstockINEOS said that on 3 November, an industrial accident affected its EO supplier. As a result, the company is declaring force majeure on all grades of monoethanolamine, diethanolamine, triethanolamine and Alkanolamine 5503, effective on 3 November.

INEOS did not say how long the force majeure would last, and it did not name the EO supplier.

EO is generally transported by pipeline, because it is very explosive and difficult to ship over long distances.

Dow produces EO at a nearby plant in Plaquemine. It has a capacity of 270,000 tonnes/year.

Dow declared force majeure on the EO plant on Wednesday.

Dow also has a downstream glycol ethers plant at Plaquemine, and EO is used to make glycol ethers. The capacity of Dow's glycol ethers plant in Plaquemine is 104,000 tonnes/year.

Dow did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the status of its downstream glycol ethers plant.

Market sources said they have not seen any effect on supplies of glycol ethers.

Earlier on 3 November, Dow said that a vessel ruptured at its Plaquemine site. At the time, Dow said its Glycol 2 unit was placed in recovery mode following the rupture and that the rest of its units at the site were running reliably.

A local newspaper quoted a Dow spokesperson as saying that the vessel contained water, small levels of sulphuric acid, ethylene oxide (EO) and nitrogen.

Ethanolamines are used to make personal care products, detergents and herbicides.

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Image above shows bottles of detergent. Source: Manfred Bail/imageBROKER/Shutterstock

Additional reporting by Tarun Raizada and Larry Terry