Gulf Coast Petrochemical Producers Beset by Maintenance Outages This Week
The U.S. Gulf Coast has seen a lot of ethylene activity this week, with a substantial amount of capacity remaining offline as a result of plant problems.
ExxonMobil Chemical’s 1 billion-pound-per-year USC 1 and 800 million-pound-per-year USC II ethane cracking units in Beaumont, Texas, remain shut down due to major complications in a cooling tower. The company is installing a temporary cooling tower to resolve the problem, but it is unclear when the units will restart.
Meanwhile, Westlake Petrochemicals has begun restart activities for the 1.49 billion-pound-per-year Petro 2 ethylene unit in Sulphur, Louisiana, plant, which was shut down on Monday, August 22 as the result of an instrumentation issue that caused a trip in a main compressor. Current expectations are to have the unit back to full operations over the weekend.
Finally, Chevron Phillips has ramped up production at its 1.84 billion-pound-per-year 1592 Ethylene unit at the Baytown (Cedar Bayou), Texas, plant, after it briefly shut down on Tuesday due to a compressor trip. A turnaround is planned for September.
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