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Indorama's Texas monoethylene glycol plant returns to full rates: source

Houston — Indorama Ventures' ethylene oxide/monoethylene glycol operation in Clear Lake, Texas, has resumed full rates after a September fire at another company's facility interrupted the provision of utility services, a source familiar with company operations said.

"The fire was not in the EO/EG unit and did no damage to our plant," the source said in an email late Thursday. "We are currently at full operating rates."

The September 21 fire damaged a carbon monoxide unit at Celanese's Clear Lake complex, prompting a shutdown of the company's 1.7 million mt/year fairway methanol unit as well as 300,000 mt/year vinyl acetate monomer (VAM) and 1.3 million mt/year acetic acid units. Celanese announced earlier this week the methanol unit had restarted, and the company aimed to restart the VAM and AA units in October.

The fire's interruption of utility service affected Indorama's nearby Clear Lake facility, temporarily disrupting output until such service was restored at the Celanese complex. An Indorama spokesman was not immediately available for comment Friday.

A market source said the MEG disruption did not affect spot export MEG prices because supply is long amid new startups this year, including MEGlobal's 750,000 mt/year plant in Freeport, Texas, which was expected to begin shipping commercial quantities of on-spec material to international markets by late November. Indorama's Clear Lake facility can produce up to 435,000 mt/year of ethylene oxide and 358,000 mt/year of MEG, which is used to make anti-freeze and is a precursor to polyethylene terephthalate and polyester.

US export MEG prices were last assessed at 21-22 cents/lb FOB USG,

The cause of the Celanese fire is under investigation, and no injuries were reported.

-- Kristen Hays, kristen.hays@spglobal.com

-- Edited by Keiron Greenhalgh, newsdesk@spglobal.com