Houston — Work is continuing on repairing Entergy's eletricity distribution system in southwest Louisiana, but "significant obstacles" remain in terms of reguilding the transmission systems heavily damaged by Hurricane Laura, the company said Sept. 3.
About 1,000 transmission structures, 6,600 poles, 338 miles of wire and nearly 3,000 transformers were damaged in Calcasieu and Cameron parishes, which took a direct hit from the storm's 150 mph winds upon landfall Aug. 27, the company said. Calcasieu Parish is home to Lake Charles, a petrochemical hub with complexes operated by Westlake Chemical, Sasol and LyondellBasell.
Both Westlake and Sasol have declared force majeure on products produced at their Lake Charles operations in the storm's aftermath.
Entergy also provides power in southeast Texas, where the company said power restoration efforts were continuing in Orange. Other southeast Texas areas affected by the storm, such as Port Arthur and Port Neches, had largely seen power restored by Sept. 3.
About 16.9%, or 6.97 million mt/year, of the 40 million mt/year of US ethylene capacity is offline. About 29% of US ethylene capacity was offline before the storm made landfall.
Here are the operations and pricing impacts of Hurricane Laura'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.
** 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 September. Assessing damage; restart pending availability of power.
** 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; restart pending availability of power.
** Lotte Chemical: 1 million mt/year joint venture cracker; 700,000 mt/year MEG plant. Assessing damage; awaiting restart pending availability of power.
** LyondellBasell: 400,000 mt/year and 1 million mt/year PP plants. Assessing damage; awaiting restart pending damage assessment and availability of power.
** Dow Chemical: 882,000 mt/year cracker; 236,000 mt/year LDPE. No major damage found, awaiting restart pending restoration of external infrastructure, including power.
** CP Chem: 420,000 mt/year HDPE. Limited visible damage, assessment continuing, awaiting restart pending restoration of power.
Port Neches, Texas
** Indorama Ventures: 235,867 mt/year cracker; 1 million mt/year EO/MEG; 238,135 mt/year propylene oxide; 988,000 mt/year MTBE. Minimal damage assessed, restart pending.
Port Arthur, Texas
** Total/BASF: joint venture 1 million mt/year cracker. Shut for maintenance pre-Hurricane Laura.
** ExxonMobil: 826,000 mt/year cracker; 650,000 mt/year and 325,000 mt/year LLDPE; 225,000 mt/year HDPE; 220,000 mt/year HDPE/LLDPE. Minor repairs needed, restarts began Aug. 28.
** Natgasoline: 1.7 million mt/year methanol facility. Restart to be completed by Sept. 3.
Port Arthur, Texas
** Motiva Enterprises: 635,000 mt/year cracker. Restart began Aug. 27, flaring expected to last through Sept. 1, per regulatory filing.
** CP Chem: 855,000 mt/year cracker. Limited visible damage, assessment continuing; restart began Sept. 2, per notice to community hotline.
** CP Chem: Three HDPE units, combined capacity of 998,000 mt/year. Resuming normal operations.
** TPC Group: 544,000 mt/year butadiene. Restart began Aug. 29.
** Fairway Methanol: 1.3 million mt/year Fairway methanol facility in Clear Lake. Shut Aug. 26, restart began Aug. 28.
** CP Chem: 1.7 million mt/year and 837,000 mt/year crackers. Working to resume normal operations.
** ExxonMobil: Had reduced rates at 1.25 million mt/year, 962,000 mt/year and 1.59 mt/year crackers. Resumed normal rates Aug. 28.
** INEOS Styrolution: 779,000 mt/year styrene monomer. Restart began Aug. 31, per company notice on community hotline.
** LyondellBasell: 1.16 million mt/year, 455,000 mt/year, 235,000 mt/year PP. Restarted Aug. 28.
** Baystar: 400,000 mt/year joint venture HDPE; assessing damage. Began restarting Aug. 28.
** LyondellBasell: 180,000 mt/year HDPE. Restart began Aug. 29-30.
** US spot ethylene prices on Sept. 3 held at levels reached Sept. 1: up 2.5 cents/lb to an 11-month high of 26.5 cents/lb FD Mont Belvieu, and up 1 cent/lb to 27 cents/lb FD Choctaw, the highest level since S&P Global Platts began assessing Choctaw.
** US spot export LDPE and HDPE blowmolding prices reached their highest levels in months Sept. 1 and were holding at those levels Sept. 3 amid multiple producers having declared force majeure in the aftermath of Hurricane Laura. LDPE prices rose $110/mt to a 22-month high; LLDPE butene prices increased $99/mt; HDPE blowmolding rose $88/mt and HDPE injection and film each rose $99/mt week on week from Aug. 26.
** September export PVC prices surged $165/mt week on week on Sept. 2 from Aug. 26 to a six-year high after Westlake Chemical's FM declared Aug. 31 on PVC and VCM and Formosa Plastics USA's FM on PVC still in place after its Aug. 14 declaration.
** US spot homopolymer PP prices rose on Sept, 3 held Sept. 2's $22/mt increase.
PORTS AND RAILROADS
** Houston Ship Channel: Closed Aug. 26, reopened Aug. 27.
** Sabine-Neches Waterway. Channel closed Aug. 26; on Aug. 31 parts opened with restrictions; status unchanged on Sept. 1.
** Port of Lake Charles. Closed Aug. 25; resumed movements Sept. 1 for vessels with a 30-foot or less draft.
** Union Pacific: On Sept. 1 service restored to mainline network affected by Hurricane Laura, including a segment linking Lake Charles, Louisiana, to Beaumont, Texas; generators will continue to be used throughout the Lake Charles area until commercial power is restored; embargoes remain in place at southwest Louisiana locations.