Lyondell Idles Ethylene Plant | Chemical & Engineering News
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Web Date: November 3, 2008

Lyondell Idles Ethylene Plant

Economic conditions force temporary closure of La Porte cracker
Department: Business
LyondellBasell's olefins plant in La Porte, Texas.
Credit: LyondellBasell
LyondellBasell's olefins plant in La Porte, Texas.
Credit: LyondellBasell

Responding to declining demand and tough economic conditions, LyondellBasell Industries is idling the olefins plant at its La Porte, Texas, site. The company says it expects the plant to be out of service until early 2009.

LyondellBasell's La Porte olefins cracker has an annual production capacity of 1.7 billion lb of ethylene and 700 million lb of propylene. LyondellBasell, one of the world's largest petrochemical producers, operates 11 such crackers around the world with a combined capacity of 14.9 billion lb of ethylene and 8.7 billion lb of propylene.

Edward J. Dineen, president of LyondellBasell's chemicals division, says demand for ethylene and propylene is falling as customers adjust year-end inventories and respond to changes in feedstock prices. "Today's tight credit markets and low consumer confidence also are being felt by our customers," Dineen says, "and this is contributing to decreased demand for petrochemical derivatives."

The company says other operations at the 540-acre La Porte complex, including polyethylene, acetic acid, and vinyl acetate plants, are not affected by the idling of the olefins plant. LyondellBasell plans to use the downtime to conduct maintenance at the site.

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