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Factbox: Post-Ida damage assessments continue at Louisiana petrochemical facilities

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Factbox: Post-Ida damage assessments continue at Louisiana petrochemical facilities


ExxonMobil chemical complex: 1 million mt/year cracker; 400,000 mt/year HDPE; 400,000 mt/year LDPE; 900,000 mt/year LLDPE; 410,000 mt/year polypropylene

  • Author
  • Kristen Hays
  • Editor
  • Richard Rubin
  • Commodity
  • Petrochemicals Climate Risk & Resilience Extreme Weather
  • Tags
  • United States

Damage assessments at Louisiana petrochemical facilities affected by Hurricane Ida continued Sept. 2, as most awaited restoration of power.

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"Entergy is working their way up the river, and it's slow," a market source said of the region's major power provider's efforts to restore access to electricity in the Category 4 storm's wake.

Some facilities had power, such as Shell Chemicals' Geismar complex and Formosa Plastics USA's operations, 22 miles north in the state capitol of Baton Rouge, but most remained without electricity amid lengthy damage assessments. Some with power still lacked inflows of critical feedstocks, such as industrial gases, as third-party suppliers awaited power restoration.

Westlake Chemical on Sept. 2 declared force majeure on caustic soda throughout the company's system in the storm's aftermath, according to a customer letter seen by S&P Global Platts.

Westlake had already declared force majeure Sept. 1 on downstream vinyl chloride monomer and polyvinyl chloride, also citing impacts from the storm on its two complexes in Geismar and Plaquemine along the Mississippi River, according to a separate customer letter seen by Platts.

Caustic soda, a byproduct of chlorine production, is a key feedstock for alumina and pulp and paper industries. Chlorine is the first link in the production chain for PVC, a construction staple used to make pipes, window frames, vinyl siding and other products. VCM is the immediate precursor to PVC.

The storm also affected plants that make other chemicals and resins, including ethylene and propylene that feed downstream production polyethylene and polypropylene. PE is used to make the world's most-used plastics, from milk jugs and grocery bags to shampoo bottles and buckets, while PP is heavily used in the automotive industry to make plastics in vehicles.

Several companies have declared force majeure on products manufactured at plants on either side of the river, given uncertainty of when they can restart and supply that was tight before Ida's landfall.

Ida came ashore Aug. 29 as a Category 4 storm packing 150 mph winds. The storm retained hurricane strength as it moved inland until early Aug. 30, when it was downgraded to a tropical storm as it moved toward Mississippi.

Ida's soggy remnants caused severe flooding from Maryland and Philadelphia to New York City and New Jersey on Sept. 2.

Here is a rundown of Louisiana petrochemical plants affected by Ida:


Baton Rouge

**ExxonMobil chemical complex: 1 million mt/year cracker; 400,000 mt/year HDPE; 400,000 mt/year LDPE; 900,000 mt/year LLDPE; 410,000 mt/year polypropylene


Baton Rouge

**Formosa Plastics USA: 513,000 mt/year PVC; 653,000 mt/year vinyl chloride monomer


**Dow Chemical: 1 million mt/year and 500,000 mt/year crackers; 750,000 mt/year HDPE; 184,000 mt/year and 350,000 mt/year LDPE; 544,000 mt/year LLDPE

**Shintech: 500,000 mt/year cracker; 600,000 mt/year PVC; 1.77 million mt/year VCM; 2 million mt/year ethylene dichloride; 1.16 million mt/year chlorine; 1.28 million mt/year caustic soda

**Westlake Chemical: 861,826 mt/year PVC; 725,747 mt/year VCM; 1.15 million mt/year EDC; 426,376 mt/year chlorine; 453,592 mt/year caustic soda

**Olin: 850,000 mt/year chlorine; 934,066 mt/year caustic soda


**Shintech: 900,000 mt/year PVC


**Westlake Chemical: 520,000 mt/year PVC; 625,000 mt/year EDC; 317,514 mt/year chlorine; 349,266 mt/year caustic soda

**NOVA Chemical: 977,000 mt/year cracker

**OxyChem: 315,000 mt/year EDC; 353,000 mt/year chlorine; 387,912 mt/year caustic soda

**Methanex: Two methanol units, each 1 million mt/year

**Shell Chemical: 375,000 mt/year ethylene glycols


**OxyChem: 613,000 mt/year EDC; 353,000 mt/year chlorine; 387,912 mt/year caustic soda


**Dow Chemical: 750,000 mt/year HDPE; 800,000 mt/year LLDPE

**OxyChem: 680,000 mt/year chlorine; 747,252 mt/year caustic soda


**Shell Chemical: 625,000 mt/year and 930,000 mt/year crackers; 265,351 mt/year butadiene

St. Gabriel

**Olin: 250,000 mt/year chlorine; 274,725 mt/year caustic soda


**Pinnacle Polymers: 430,000 mt/year PP


**CosMar: Two styrene units, each 579,000 mt/year

St. James

**YCI: Methanol unit, 1.7 million mt/year

**Americas Styrenics, two lines, 499,000 mt/year and 453,000 mt/year

St. Louis Bay, Mississippi

**DAK Americas, 430,000 mt/year PET


**Pinnacle Polymers: Declared Aug. 30 for all products due to impacts of the storm.

**OxyChem: Declared Aug. 30 on water treatment products marketed under ACL, Towerbrom and Towerchlor brands, as well as cyanuric acid.

**DAK Americas: Declared Aug. 30 on PET.

**OxyChem: Declared Aug. 31 for chlorine, caustic soda, ethylene dichloride, sulfuric acid, potassium hydroxide, methylene chloride, chloroform, carbon tetrachloride, perchoroethylene

**Westlake Chemical: Declared Aug. 31 for PVC and VCM.

**Shintech: Declared Sept. 1 for caustic soda.

**Westlake chemical: Declared Sept. 2 for caustic soda.


**US MTBE prices were assessed up 5.26 cents/gal on Sept. 2 at 220.53 cents/gal.

**US spot ethylene prices were assessed up 4 cents/lb day on day Sept. 2 to 47 cents/lb FD Mont Belvieu and up 5 cents/lb on the day to 60 cents/lb FD Choctaw.