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Power failure shuts down two PE resin units in Texas

By: Frank Esposito

April 15, 2014

Two polyethylene resin units operated by Chevron Phillips Chemical Co. LP in Baytown, Texas, were closed from April 8-11 because of a power failure.

A depressurizing process related to the power failure also caused “visible flaring” at the Cedar Bayou plant in Baytown, officials said in a filing with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

They added in the filing that operations proceeded with a controlled safe shutdown of the unit reactors per standard operating procedures. The site has annual capacity for 820 million pounds of high density PE, almost 620 million pounds of low density PE and 420 million pounds of linear low density PE.

The outage occurred less than a week after a groundbreaking ceremony was held at the site for a new ethylene feedstock production unit. Chevron Phillips — based in The Woodlands, Texas — also will add two new PE units at Old Ocean, Texas. Both of those projects are the result of new discoveries of shale-based natural gas throughout North America.