LyondellBasell declares FM on US olefins

10-Feb-10
LyondellBasell has declared a force majeure (FM) on US olefins, on supply restrictions possibly due to a rumoured delay in the restart of the company’s Corpus Christi cracker in Texas. However, the company maintains that the restart at Corpus Christi remains on schedule for February. As per ICIS, the cracker was taken off line in mid December for a major turnaround that will allow the 771,000 tpa unit to run mostly on lighter feedstocks once maintenance is completed. LyondellBasell began to restart the unit on 25 January, according to a filing with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ). The filing scheduled completion of the start-up process for mid-February, but the company filed on 4 February a second notice with the TCEQ reporting a leak on a propylene refrigerant compressor at the same site. While LyondellBasell did not specifically say the leak disrupted the start-up process, news that the company was declaring FM on ethylene and propylene has fueled speculation that the restart will take longer than originally planned. Lyondell has also declared a force majeure on Gulf coast PE. LyondellBasell is the second US producer to announce a restriction on ethylene supply in recent days.
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