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Olefin plants on US East coast limping back to normalcy

10
Sep '12
It’s now nearly two weeks since hurricane Isaac struck off the coast of Louisiana, where a number of petrochemical plants are operating, among which a few are ethylene production plants.

A few of the olefin producers fibre2fashion spoke to confirmed that there was no major damage to their plants, since they are well prepared to meet these natural disasters.

A spokeswoman for Shell which operates an ethylene plant at Norco Petrochemical Complex revealed to fibre2fashion that, Norco had a controlled shutdown, and as of 5 September are continuing to safely re-start their operations and are operating at either reduced or near normal rates.

Shell operates two naphtha crackers at the Norco Complex located in St. Charles Paris with a combined capacity 1.36 million tons / year.

A spokesperson of Williams’ which manages a 612,000 tons / year steam cracker in Giesmer, Louisiana said that they undertook maintenance at the time the hurricane struck, since anyway the plant was supposed to shutdown and as per latest details they were in the process of restarting the plant.

William’s has not reported any damage to either of its onshore or offshore assets.

Exxon Mobil which operates a 1.4 million tons / annum propylene plant and also has facilities to produce 600,000 tons of ethylene elastomers at its Baytown Rouge facility declined to comment on the operational status of the plants as a matter of policy.

However in an emailed statement to fibre2fashion, a spokeswoman said, “Hurricane preparedness is part of our long-term planning, and it begins well before the start of hurricane season. We thoroughly review response procedures, train personnel, conduct exercises and continually monitor weather conditions that can impact operations”.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India


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