US TPC needs years to rebuild Port Neches BD site, is cutting jobs

Author: Tracy Dang

2020/02/25

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US butadiene (BD) producer TPC Group is reducing workforce at its Port Neches operations in Texas and expects to take a number of years to rebuild the site following the 27 November fire.

TPC plans to operate the site as only a terminal and services organisation “for the foreseeable future” to serve supplier and customer needs.

“The company does not expect that we will need employees beyond those necessary to operate as a terminal for more than three to five years,” TPC said in a Tuesday update.

The downsizing will impact salaried employees, as well as union and hourly employees. TPC said the reduction will have minimum impact across the company, nor will it impact response and recovery efforts.

TPC has transferred 96% of its high purity BD and more than half of its 1,3 BD containing material offsite.

The next step would be to transfer crude C4 (CC4), raffinate, polyblend and other processes materials to further secure the site.

“TPC Group Port Neches Operations continues to make good progress with the goal of restoring terminal operations capabilities requiring dock, tank farm and pipeline operations, in the first half of the year to expand our ability to serve industry customers throughout facility recovery and restoration,” the update said.

Neighbouring industrial plants are now up and operating, TPC said.

The Port Neches site has been offline since 27 November when explosions and fires at the site suspended production and pipeline activity. TPC has declared force majeure on BD from Port Neches.

BD is a key feedstock for synthetic rubbers, largely styrene butadiene rubber (SBR), which is used in tyre manufacturing. BD is extracted from crude C4s.

Click here to view the latest stories on the TPC explosion 

Thumbnail credit: JDrago Photo/Shutterstock

Follow Tracy Dang on Twitter