More ports, plants shut as Harvey heads toward Louisiana; FMs declared

30 August 2017 19:18 Source:ICIS News

(recasts with updates throughout)

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Tropical Storm Harvey is producing flooding rains over eastern Texas and western Louisiana, prompting more ports, refineries and petrochemical plants to shut down or reduce operations, and more companies to declare force majeure on products.

Harvey is expected to weaken to a tropical depression, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said, as its centre should move through southwestern and central Louisiana overnight. Harvey should move through northeastern Louisiana and northwestern Mississippi on Thursday.

The ports of Beaumont, Port Arthur and Lake Charles closed on Wednesday as Harvey headed toward southwest Louisiana, according to a port spokesman and the US Coast Guard (USCG).

Texas ports remain closed, and several railroad companies have issued embargoes or suspended operations.

Several companies on Wednesday announced or confirmed plant shutdowns or reduced/affected operations, and many declared force majeure or implemented allocation.

- A Schulman keeps three Houston facilities closed.

- Berry shuts two plastics plants.

- Chevron Phillips Chemical (CP Chem) shuts Port Arthur complex.

- Covestro declares force majeure on methyl di-p phenylene isocyanate (MDI), toluene di-isocyanate (TDI), polyols, liquid caustic soda (50%), hydrochloric acid (36%), hexamethylene di-isocyanate (HDI), isophorone di-isocyanate (IPDI), select pre-polymers and aspartics from Baytown and Channelview.

- DCP shuts Andrews natural gas processing plant.

- Dow Chemical flares at Texas City vinyl acetate monomer (VAM).

- ExxonMobil issues allocation on hydrocarbon fluids and methyl ethyl ketone (MEK) from Baytown.

- ExxonMobil shuts Beaumont refinery. Earlier this week, it reduced rates at the refinery and shut some units at its olefins and polyethylene (PE) site.

- Monument declares force majeure on Texas-based products.

- Motiva shuts Port Arthur refinery. Previously, it reduced rates.

- Stolt shuts Houston bulk-liquid storage terminal.

- Targa shuts Cedar Bayou fractionator.

- Targa receives natural gas liquid (NGL) sales curtailment.

- TPC shuts operations at Port Neches site.

- Total has power outage that caused its Port Arthur refinery to shut.

- Valero shuts Port Arthur refinery.

Meanwhile, Arkema confirmed concerns that its Crosby liquid organic peroxides plant in Texas has the potential for a chemical reaction that could lead to an explosion or fire. The plant closed on 25 August as a precautionary measure, but continued rainfall and floods has affected electricity supply required to keep those chemicals refrigerated.

As previously reported, several companies have declared force majeure because of Harvey.

- BASF declares force majeure on acrylic monomers and oxo-alcohol.

- Celanese declares force majeure on vinyl acetate monomer (VAM).

- Formosa declares force majeure on polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP).

- Formosa declares force majeure on chlor-alkali.

- INEOS declares force majeure on polypropylene (PP) after the storm's effects on Chocolate Bayou and La Porte.

- INVISTA declares force majeure on butanediol (BDO).

- LyondellBasell declares force majeure on polyethylene (PE) after shutdowns at Matagorda, Chocolate Bayou and La Porte.

- LyondellBasell declares force majeure on butadiene (BD) and butanediol (BDO) after production loss at Channelview.

- LyondellBasell declares force majeure on several products including ethylene oxide (EO), ethylene glycols (EG), propylene glycol (PG), glycol ethers, ethanolamines after issues at Bayport.

- LyondellBasell declares force majeure on acetic acid and vinyl acetate monomer (VAM) after issues at La Porte.

- Ascend declares force majeure on acrylonitrile (ACN), hydrogen cyanide (HCN) and disodium iminodiacetate (DSIDA) from Chocolate Bayou.

Meanwhile, several companies are planning restarts at their facilities:

- Enterprise Mont Belvieu fractionators.

- Flint Hills Corpus Christi west refinery and east refinery.

- Formosa Point Comfort olefins 1 and olefins 2, although actual restart activities have yet to begin.

- Marathon Texas City refinery.

- Valero Corpus Christi and Three Rivers refineries.

As of late Tuesday, several companies had shut down or reduced operating rates as a precaution to Harvey, or had production issues stemming from severe weather, heavy rains and flooding.

- American Acryl shuts Bayport acrylic acid.

- Braskem shuts Seadrift polypropylene (PP).

- Celanese shuts Pasadena methanol.

- Chevron Phillips Chemical (CP Chem) shuts certain operations at Cedar Bayou and Sweeny, as well as other facilities as appropriate. Previously, the company said it was conducting a sitewide shutdown at Cedar Bayou.

- CP Chem shuts Pasadena Plastics Complex, which produces polyethylene (PE).

- Citgo shuts Corpus Christi refinery.

- Covestro reduces operations at Baytown methyl di-p phenylene isocyanate (MDI), toluene di-isocyanate (TDI), polycarbonate (PC), aniline and chlorine. Later, the company said it has suspended production on most products at Baytown and Channelview.

- Dow Chemical shuts Seadrift operations. The company said it remains operational at remaining Texas sites. However, it had a process upset at Freeport olefins after a lightning strike to another facility.

- DuPont shuts Orange olefins.

- Enterprise shuts Mont Belvieu south plant.

- Enterprise said three of six propylene splitters are in operation or in limited service.

- Enterprise shuts Shoup natural gas processing. Later, it said it shut six of eight natural gas processing plants, including Shoup.

- Enterprise's ethane export terminal is out of service.

- Enterprise's liquefied petroleum gas (LGP) export terminal is out of services.

- ExxonMobil shuts Baytown refinery and chemicals plant.

- ExxonMobil reduces rates at Beaumont refinery. The company later shut some units at its olefins and polyethylene (PE) site.

- Flint Hills Corpus Christi shuts east refiney and west refinery.

- Flint Hills Resources flares at Houston propane dehydrogentation (PDH).

- Flint Hills shuts Port Arthur olefins.

- Formosa shuts Point Comfort olefins 1 and olefins 2.

- Formosa shuts Point Comfort chlor-alkali.

- Hexion shuts Deer Park epoxy resin.

- Huntsman shuts Chocolate Bayou, Conroe, Dayton, Houston, Freeport and Port Neches sites.

- Indorama unit trips at Clear Lake ethylene oxide.

- INEOS has upset at Chocolate Bayou olefins 1 and 2.

- INEOS shuts Green Lake acrylonitrile.

- INVISTA shuts Victoria nylon intermediates.

- Javelina shuts Corpus Christi gas processing.

- LyondellBasell shuts Bayport, Chocolate Bayou, Corpus Christi, La Porte, Matagorda and Victoria sites. Previously, the company said it was conducting preparations at its Corpus Christi olefins plant.

- LyondellBasell shuts or partially shuts BD at Channelview.

- LyondellBasell scaled back operations at its Houston refinery.

- LyondellBasell had a power supply interruption at Channelview olefins and methanol. Earlier, market sources said the company had shut down one of its two crackers.

- Marathon shuts Texas City refinery.

- Motiva reduces rates at Port Arthur refinery.

- Petrobras shuts Pasadena refinery.

- Phillips 66 suspended operations at its Freeport terminal, including liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) export, and Pasadena refined products terminal.

- Phillips 66 shuts Sweeny refinery.

- Shell shuts Deer Park refinery and chemicals plant.

- Occidental Chemical (OxyChem)/OxyVinyls shuts Ingleside ethylene and chlor-alkali.

- TPC boilers trip at Houston butadiene (BD) site.

- Valero shuts Corpus Christi refineries and Three Rivers refinery.


- DuPont is down at its Victoria site for a previously planned outage. It will commence start-up activities when the weather improves.

- INEOS discovered a heat exchanger tube leak at its Pasadena site. Repairs are unable to commence until weather risks pass.

To view an interactive map of petrochemical plants in Texas, click here. Use the drop-down menu to see plants by products, and zoom in to see more details.

Further in the Atlantic, Tropical Storm Irma has formed and is moving west, NOAA said.

Source: NOAA
Source: NOAA

Irma has maximum sustained winds near 50 miles/hour, with NOAA forecasts showing the storm could become a hurricane on Friday.

By David Haydon