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

2014 leaves some resin firms in the black while others struggle

January 23, 2015 2:37 pm ET

On the financial side, 2014 was good for Hexcel Corp., so-so for Celanese Corp. and it could have been better for Omnova Solutions.    More

Image

Clariant's ColorForward predicts future consumer trends

January 23, 2015 1:33 pm ET

Clariant International Ltd. is marking a decade of color forecasting with the 10th edition of its ColorForward program.    More

Image

The future for PolyOne is colorful

January 23, 2015 1:28 pm ET

PolyOne Corp. is writing four color stories for 2016.    More

Image

Mexico's Polymer Solutions looks to grow, expand offerings with name change

January 23, 2015 12:03 pm ET

British biodegradable additives developer Symphony Environmental Technologies plc's Mexico distributor has changed its name from Plásticos...    More

Image

Drop in oil leads to resin pricing plunge

January 22, 2015 3:16 pm ET

In most Decembers, resin makers try to focus on the holidays and on spending time with their families. This improves their mental well-being and also ...    More

Market Reports

Plastics in Automotive: Innovation & Emerging Trends

This special report newly released by PN and sponsored by The Conair Group examines current trends in the use of plastics in automotive, materials innovations and the changing landscape. It includes a review of legislative/regulatory activity impacting vehicle development and lightweighting, market opportunities & challenges for mold and toolmakers, innovative design strategies being implemented by major OEMs and suppliers, as well as a review of key indicators in Canada, Mexico, Brazil and China.

Learn more

Plastics Recycling Trends in North America

This report is a review and analysis of the North American Plastics Recycling Industry, including key trends and statistics based on 2013 performance. We examine market environment factors, regulatory issues, industry challenges, key drivers and emerging trends in post-consumer and post-industrial recycling.

Learn more

Injection Molding Market Analysis & Processor Rankings

Plastics News BUNDLED package contains our in-depth Market Analysis of the Injection Molding segment. You will gain keen insight on current trends and our economic outlook.

As a BONUS this includes PN's updated 2014 database of North American Injection Molders RANKED by sales volume. Sort, merge, mail & prospect by end market, materials processed, region, # of plants and more.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

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

June 2, 2015 - June 3, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - Chicago 2015

September 16, 2015 - September 18, 2015Plastics Caps & Closures - September 2015

More Events