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Dow’s Plaquemine facility has power outage; olefins unit not yet restarted

HOUSTON, November 6, 2016 (PCW) – Dow’s Plaquemine facility in Louisiana experienced a power outage and steam loss last Friday, causing the shutdown of several units at the facility, including the two olefins plants.

Neither unit had been restarted as of Monday evening. The company said late Friday that power and steam was being restored to the facility. As a result of the power outage, a chlorine leak was reported at the site from the Olin Corporation’s plant, which is a third-party tenant on the site.

The LA-2 olefins unit has an ethylene production capacity of 1.245 billion lbs/yr and represents 1.95% of US production capacity. It can consume 30,000 b/d of ethane and 5,000 b/d of propane.

The LA-3 olefins unit was recently restarted after a planned turnaround and expansion. Its initial capacity was 1.75 billion lbs/yr and has now been expanded by another 600 million lbs/yr to 2.35 billion lbs/yr. The unit represents 3.68% of US Gulf Coast ethylene production capacity. Its prior feedstock consumption was about 30,000 b/d of ethane, 15,000 b/d of propane and 5,000 b/d of normal butane. The new capacity is expected to add another 10,000 b/d of ethane demand to the unit.

On Monday, Dec spot ethylene traded at 25.75 cpp, basis Choctaw. Dec ethylene traded at 25.25 cpp, basis MtB-Williams. The last time Choctaw spot prices held a similar premium over MtB-Wms was in mid-April, according to PetroChem Wire prices. -- Samantha Hartke

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