Unseasonably cold weather in January led to temporary shutdowns of polypropylene resin and feedstock units in the Houston area.
A PP line operated by Braskem Americas in La Porte, Texas, had an unplanned shutdown on Jan. 17 because of a frozen boiler transmitter, according to a report from the PetroChem Wire consulting firm.
Another PP line operated by LyondellBasell Industries in Bayport, Texas, also was down on that same date because of "a power blip," the report added.
Temperatures dipped into the 20s, creating icy conditions and leading to some power outages, according to published reports. DowDuPont Inc. also reported a process unit upset at its massive 2.3 billion pound-capacity ethylene/propylene unit in Freeport, Texas, on Jan. 17, according to the PCW report.
Minor production issues also were reported at ethylene or propylene units operated in the region by Flint Hills Resources, Huntsman Corp., Chevron Phillips Chemical Co., and Enterprise Products, the report added.
The cold snap marked the first time that Houston had seen temperatures in the 20s in January since 1996, according to the Houston Chronicle. Warmer temperatures have returned to the region, with a low of only 41° F expected through Feb. 6.