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LyondellBasell declares force majeure at Matagorda

HOUSTON, January 19, 2018 (PCW) -- LyondellBasell declared force majeure on PE products from its Matagorda, TX plant, effective Friday morning.

The company cited equipment failure due to the recent bout of severe winter weather.

The 1.5 billion lbs/yr plant is capable of producing bimodal HDPE grades for film and pipe, as well as HDPE resins for blow molded containers and crates.

"Though the extent of the impact has not yet been fully defined, we are issuing this notification as soon as possible to ensure that you are aware of the situation," the company said in a letter to customers.

The LyondellBasell force majeure is the most visible indication so far of what is believed to be widespread petrochemical production losses due to this week's winter storm.

Petrochemical plants along the Gulf Coast are not well-insulated against the cold, so prolonged periods of sub-freezing temperatures can result in operating rate reductions or temporary outages. -- David Barry

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