Delayed La Porte cracker restart costs LyondellBasell $50m in Q2

25 July 2014 20:20 Source:ICIS News

HOUSTON (ICIS)--The turnaround at LyondellBasell's La Porte cracker in Texas took longer than expected and cost the company $50m in the second quarter, the CEO said on Friday.

The cracker had been down since 23 March and was scheduled for an 80-day turnaround to add 800m lb/year (363,000 tonnes/year) of ethylene capacity.

The cracker was supposed to resume operations in mid-June, said Jim Gallogly, CEO. He made his comments during an earnings conference call.

However, the work took longer than expected, lasting 115 days instead of 80, he said. The delayed restart impacted the second quarter by $50m.

The cracker operated briefly in early July before shutting down again to address a compressor issue, he said.

On 7 July, the company declared force majeure on ethylene out of the cracker.

This shutdown reduced ethylene production by about 100m lb, Gallogly said. In addition, it will also affect ethylene derivative sales, although he did not specify the extent.

The company was able to restart the plant during the 19-20 July weekend.

During September, LyondellBasell expects to increase La Porte's ethylene production to the expanded capacity.

The new capacity brings the ethylene capacity at the cracker to 1.152m tonnes/year, according to ICIS plants and projects.

Gallogly did not discuss the force majeure.

By Al Greenwood