Supply issues impact Chevron Phillips and Formosa polyethylene plants

By Frank Esposito
Senior Staff Reporter

Published: May 15, 2013 1:42 pm ET
Updated: May 16, 2013 1:24 pm ET

Related to this story

Topics Materials, Materials Suppliers
Companies & Associations Chevron Phillips Chemical Co. LP

AKRON, OHIO — Production and supply issues continue to impact polyethylene plants operated by Formosa Plastics Corp. USA and Chevron Phillips Chemical Co. in Texas.

Officials with Livingston, N.J.-based Formosa confirmed on May 15 the restart of two of three high density PE lines that had been down since a May 2 fire at its plant in Point Comfort, Texas. Those lines represent about 70 percent of the unit's output, they added.

The third line is expected to be up and running in late June, officials said. Two workers remain hospitalized — both contract workers — from injuries sustained in the fire. Force majeure conditions remain in place for high molecular-weight bimodal grades of Formosa's Formolene-brand HDPE.

"The quantity of product that will be allocated for the month of June is under evaluation," polyolefins vice president and general manager Ken Mounger said in a May 14 letter to customers. "We understand the burden that this ongoing production interruption has placed on [customers]. Formosa is making every effort to return to normal operations as soon as possible."

But just as Formosa was bringing some of its PE capacity back, Chevron Phillips Chemical Co. — based in The Woodlands, Texas — was declaring force majeure on PE because of a minor emissions event at its Cedar Bayou plant in Baytown, Texas.

According to a report filed with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), more than 260 pounds of hexene, almost 150 pounds of pentane and three pounds of gaseous ethylene were released from the plant between 11:30 p.m. on May 9 and 3 a.m. on May 10.

The cause of the air emissions event was listed as an incinerator shutdown, which resulted in process degasser streams being routed from the incinerator to the atmosphere.

The PE force majeure was confirmed in a May 14 customer letter obtained by Plastics News. In the letter, Chevron Phillips PE vice president David Morgan said that the firm "has experienced a contingency event and is in a force majeure situation with respect to [Chevron Phillips'] polyethylene supply."

Chevron Phillips "will work diligently to minimize the impact of this event on your business and return to full polyethylene deliveries as soon as possible." Officials with the firm declined to comment on the TCEQ filing.

Chevron Phillips ranks as one of North America's largest HDPE makers with annual capacity estimated at almost 3.5 billion pounds. The firm also operates almost 1.9 billion pounds of linear low density PE capacity and 620 million pounds of annual capacity for low density PE. In addition to Baytown, Chevron Phillips also makes PE at plants in Pasadena and Orange, Texas.


Comments

Supply issues impact Chevron Phillips and Formosa polyethylene plants

By Frank Esposito
Senior Staff Reporter

Published: May 15, 2013 1:42 pm ET
Updated: May 16, 2013 1:24 pm ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

DSM planning North American nylon plant

July 22, 2014 11:41 am ET

Materials firm Royal DSM NV plans to build a new nylon resin plant in North America, but no decision has been made on the plant's exact location.    More

China launches investments in Belarus

July 21, 2014 10:10 am ET

China is preparing to invest in a major bottle grade PET production project planned by the Belarus PET and polyester fibers producer...    More

Image

Polynt, CCP create composite resins giant

July 18, 2014 10:13 am ET

France's Total SA has agreed to sell CCP Composites to Polynt Group SpA, based in Italy, for an undisclosed price.    More

Image

PET prices climb 2 cents

July 17, 2014 2:22 pm ET

After holding their ground in May, North American PET prices rebounded to show an average increase of 2 cents per pound in June.    More

Image

PolyOne closing 2 plants in Brazil

July 16, 2014 12:40 pm ET

Materials maker PolyOne Corp. is closing two of its four Brazilian plants in order to streamline operations and improve its financial performance in t...    More

Market Reports

Injection Molders Market Report & Ranking 2014

This special package contains our 132-page 2014 Market Report on the Injection Molding segment and our exclusive 2014 RANKINGS database of 500+ Injection Molders for a discounted package price.

Learn more

Plastics Recycling Market Review & Outlook 2014

This special report from Plastics News examines the North American plastics recycling industry and provides insight into indicators that impact market viability, including Resin pricing trends for virgin and recycled market material and historical Resin production trends for post- consumer and industrial waste.

Learn more

Shale Gas Market - Analysis of North American Region

This report highlights the impact of shale-based natural gas on the North American plastics market and features an in-depth analysis of production trends in the United States during 2013 and a forecast for 2014 and beyond.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

September 10, 2014 - September 12, 2014Plastics Caps & Closures 2014

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

More Events