Equistar to permanently shut olefins plant in Texas; to lay off 220

Equistar Chemicals, LP, an indirect subsidiary of LyondellBasell Industries AF S.C.A., announced to permanently shut down its Chocolate Bayou-based olefins plants in Texas and in the process, will layoff 220 employees at the plant. Equistar, along with Lyondell Chemical Company and certain other affiliates, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Jan. 6, 2009. "Current projections for ethylene demand indicate that we can meet the needs of our customers without this plant in operation," said Vaughn Deasy, Vice President of Base Chemicals for LyondellBasell. "We are assessing various alternatives for the olefins plant to preserve the greatest value for the company." The Chocolate Bayou olefins unit has a nameplate capacity of 1.2 bln pounds per year of ethylene and 725 mln pounds of propylene and has been out of service since December 2008.
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