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DAK Americas PET plant shut for Hurricane Ian: sources

Highlights

Most South Carolina PET production far from Hurricane Ian's landfall

Two majore US East Coast resin-exporting ports shut ahead of the storm

  • Author
  • Antoinette Smith    Kristen Hays
  • Editor
  • Benjamin Morse
  • Commodity
  • Petrochemicals

DAK Americas shut its 305,000 mt/year polyethylene terephthalate unit in Monck's Corner, South Carolina, ahead of Hurricane Ian's Sept. 30 landfall, according to sources familiar with company operations.

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However, market sources said they do not expect extensive impact on output because of the storm.

More than half of nearly 4.79 million mt/year of US PET production is in South Carolina, but most is not close to Georgetown, South Carolina, where the storm came ashore as a Category 1 storm with 85 mph winds. Monck's Corner is about 43 miles from Georgetown, two days after slamming into the west coast of Florida as a Category 4 storm with a storm surge exceeding 10 feet.

Nan Ya Plastics operates the largest PET unit in the state, its 835,000 mt/year facility in Lake City, South Carolina, about 47 miles inland from Georgetown. It was unclear whether the unit was shut, and the company did not respond to requests for comment. DAK also did not respond to a request for comment.

Other PET plants in the state are 82 to 225 miles from Georgetown.

PET is used to make plastic bottles and polyester fiber, and the US is a net PET importer to meet domestic demand.

However, major resin-exporting ports of Charleston, South Carolina, and Savannah, Georgia, shut terminal operations Sept. 29, according to the US Coast Guard.

Both ports are among the top five resin-exporting ports in the US. In the first six months of 2022, 292,883 mt of polyethylene, polypropylene and polyvinyl chloride were exported from Charleston, second to 1.95 million mt shipped out of Houston, home to the second-largest petrochemical port in the world behind Rotterdam, according to US International Trade Commission data.

Savannah was the fourth-largest export route for those three resins in the first half of 2022, having shipped out 154,404 mt. New Orleans was third with 280,311 mt, and Los Angeles was fifth with 94,270 mt.