Issue Date: May 18, 2009
Two Chemical Firms Cut Texas Output
LyondellBasell Industries and Hexion Specialty Chemicals are both curtailing chemical production in the face of weak demand. LyondellBasell, which filed for bankruptcy protection of its U.S. subsidiaries in January, will close a 480 million-lb-per-year high-density polyethylene plant in Chocolate Bayou, Texas, by the end of July. The company will lay off about 50 workers who ran the unit. In March, the firm closed an ethylene cracker complex on a nearby site in Chocolate Bayou. Separately, Hexion says it will indefinitely idle a 190 million-lb bisphenol-A plant in Deer Park, Texas. BPA is used to make epoxy resins, a major product line for Hexion, and polycarbonate. At the same time, the company is bringing a 310 million-lb BPA plant back on-line at the same site after it was down for maintenance.
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