A petrochemicals site operated by BASF TotalEnergies Petrochemicals in Port Arthur, Texas, remains shut down after a Sept. 5 fire that caused a distillation tower to collapse at the site.
No injuries were reported from the incident, a BASF spokesperson said in an email to Plastics News. The shutdown could impact markets for plastics feedstocks ethylene, propylene and butadiene, all of which are made at the site.
The fire broke out at around 10:45 a.m. in a pyrolysis gasoline (pygas) unit. The tower collapsed shortly before noon, leading to the evacuation of employees not directly involved in managing the incident.
The fire was under control by 1:30 p.m. The spokesperson said the cause of the incident is under investigation. The spokesperson added that BASF TotalEnergies "is working to resume operations as soon as possible."
BASF TotalEnergies Petrochemicals is a joint venture between BASF Corp. and TotalEnergies Petrochemicals & Refining USA. Those businesses are U.S.-based units of BASF SE of Ludwigshafen, Germany, and TotalEnergies of Paris.
The Port Arthur facility operates one of the largest steam crackers in the world, turning naphtha and light hydrocarbons into ethylene, propylene, and other chemical raw materials. TotalEnergies also operates an oil refinery in Port Arthur.