The impact of Hurricane Claudette still is being felt on the Texas coast, as a number of resin plants work to restart production.
The hurricane hit the coast early July 15, slamming the region with winds of more than 100 mph. The storm left 30,000 people without electricity and has been blamed for two deaths.
Formosa Plastics Corp. USA lost power at its Point Comfort plant for about 36 hours before it was restored late July 16, said Formosa spokesman Rob Thibault.
Thibault said he was unsure when production would resume at the plant, a major producer of polyethylene, polypropylene and PVC, as well as a number of chemical feedstocks.
Dow Chemical Co. and Equistar Chemicals LP shut area plants before the storm hit. Dow began closing its Seadrift plant, which makes PE and PP, the night of July 14, said Kathy Hunt, a Dow spokeswoman based at the site.
The Seadrift plant lost power for three hours July 15. Hunt said the eye of the hurricane passed over the site. Dow staffers began cleaning up, assessing damage and restarting operations that afternoon. Hunt described damage as ``minimal,'' with much of it limited to the electrical system.
A catalyst unit in Seadrift restarted July 15. One of its gas-phase PE reactors came back up July 16 and a second came back July 17. The other two gas-phase PE reactors there were to restart by July 21. The site's only high-pressure PE reactor was to restart July 19 or July 20, Hunt said.
The PP unit taken down in Seadrift is expected to remain down for seven to 10 days as part of a scheduled maintenance turnaround. One PE compounding line at the site resumed production July 17, while a second, similar line was to restart July 18.
Equistar stopped production at high density PE plants in Matagorda and Victoria early July 15, but restarted the next morning, said spokesman David Harpole. He reported no significant damage, though each site endured winds of up to 80 mph.
Dow has total PE production capacity of 1.5 billion pounds in Seadrift, while Equistar can produce a total of 2.1 billon pounds in Victoria and Matagorda. Formosa can produce 2.1 billion pounds of PE, 1.5 billion pounds of PP and 1.3 billion pounds of PVC annually in Point Comfort.