Houston — Hurricane Delta appears to have wreaked minimal damage to chemical facilities in Lake Charles, Louisiana, just six weeks after Hurricane Laura blew through the region, severely damaging major electricity transmission lines that left facilities offline for weeks.
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Westlake Chemical said in a statement on Oct. 12 that initial assessments after Delta's Oct. 9 landfall showed "very limited physical damage" to its Lake Charles complex, and facilities were "in the process of restarting."
The timing of those restarts depends on restoration of electrical power, industrial gases and other feedstocks and utilities, the company said.
Sasol said Oct. 12 that its Lake Charles complex "did not experience significant damage" and that sufficient industrial-level power had been restored to resume startups of some facilities." Additional plants will startup once full load power is restored," the company said in a statement.
"We will resume the coordinated startup sequence of Sasol's Lake Charles facilities when it is safe to do so," the company said, noting, like Westlake, that startups depend on availability of electric power and feedstocks.
LyondellBasell and Lotte Chemical did not immediately respond to inquiries about the status of their Lake Charles operations on Oct. 12.
Delta came ashore as a Category 2 storm with 100 mph winds in early evening Oct. 9, weakening as it swiftly moved inland on a path near Hurricane Laura's Aug. 27 landfall.
Laura was a Category 4 storm with 150 mph winds, and came ashore about 15 miles east of Delta's landfall. Laura severely damaged major electricity transmission lines in Lake Charles, leaving major chemical facilities there shut down in September, awaiting restoration of full load power to allow comprehensive damage assessments of their systems.
Force majeures declared in Laura's aftermath remained in effect on Oct. 12.
Entergy, the power provider that serves southwest Louisiana, said on Oct. 12 that power should be restored for the Sulphur and Westlake areas of Calcasieu Parish by Oct. 13-14, and in the Lake Charles area Oct. 15-16.
Here are operations effects of Hurricane Delta's aftermath:
**CP Chem: FM declared Sept. 1 on US polyethylene.
**Westlake Polymers: FM declared Aug. 31 on US polyethylene.
**Sasol: FM declared Aug. 31 on all North American polyethylene, including all LLDPE and HDPE grades.
**Westlake Chemical: FM declared on Aug. 31 on all North American PVC and VCM.
**LyondellBasell: FM declared Aug. 31 on US polypropylene.
**INEOS Olefins & Polymers USA: FM declared Aug. 26 on HDPE at 460,000 mt/year unit in La Porte, Texas; plant is a joint venture with Sasol.
**Formosa Plastics USA: FM declared Aug. 14 on PVC at its Texas and Louisiana operations; unrelated to Hurricane Laura.
**Sasol: 1.5 million mt/year and 439,000 mt/year crackers; 470,000 mt/year LLDPE; 380,000 mt/year ethylene oxide/monoethylene glycol; a new 420,000 mt/year LDPE plant slated to start up in October. Assessing damage, preparing for restarts.
**Westlake Chemical: three chlor-alkali plants, combined capacity of 1.27 million mt/year of chlorine and 1.36 million mt/year of caustic soda; two vinyl chloride monomer plants, combined capacity of 952,543 mt/year; a 1.8 million mt/year ethylene dichloride plant; two crackers, combined capacity of 1.19 million mt/year; 200,000 mt/year LLDPE; 60,000 mt/year HDPE/LLDPE; 386,000 mt/year LDPE; 258,547 mt/year styrene. Assessing damage, has begun restart processes.
**Lotte Chemical: 1 million mt/year joint-venture cracker; 700,000 mt/year MEG plant. Assessing damage, restarts pending.
**LyondellBasell: 400,000 mt/year and 1 million mt/year PP plants. Assessing damage. Had restarted both plants; shut down as of Oct. 8 ahead of Delta's landfall.
**NOVA Chemical: 928,000 mt/year cracker in Geismar, Louisiana, shut mid-September for unplanned repairs unrelated to storms; postponed restart until after Delta passed; storm impacts minimal and restart expected later in the week of Oct. 12.
Port Neches, Texas
**Indorama Ventures: Storm caused some units to trip, but all units except a 238,135 mt/year propylene oxide; 988,000 mt/year MTBE facility have been restarted; complex includes a 235,867 mt/year cracker; 1 million mt/year EO/MEG.
PORTS AND RAILROADS
**Port of Lake Charles: Closed Oct. 8; reopened Oct. 12 with draft restrictions.
**Ports of Port Arthur, Orange, Sabine and Beaumont, Texas: Closed Oct. 8; light-drafted vessels allowed inbound Oct. 10; Sabine-Neches Waterway open with draft restrictions.
**Houston Ship Channel: Closed Oct. 8; reopened Oct. 10.
**Port of New Orleans: Closed to inbound traffic Oct. 8; reopened Oct. 10.
**Union Pacific: Main line network service restored Oct. 12; delays expected as work down backlog of traffic holding from the hurricane.