Estimated 10 billion pounds of PE production shut down in the Gulf Coast

From “Resin markets may feel wrath of Ida while recovering from past weather blasts” (Plastics News):

The Gulf Coast of Louisiana is home to many plants making plastic resins, as well as feedstocks needed to make those materials. Most of those plants began to close Aug. 28 in advance of the storm. As of mid-day Aug. 30, no major damage had been reported from any plastics or petrochemicals plants in the region.

But no firms had released a timetable for a potential restart.  Electrical power remains out throughout the region, with almost 1 million people without power. Many roads and rail lines also can’t be used because of high water levels. […]

The Resin Technology Inc. consulting firm in Fort Worth, Texas, estimated that 10.3 billion pounds of annual PE production has been shut down. That production is operated by Dow Inc. in Taft and Plaquemine and by ExxonMobil Chemical in Baton Rouge.

RTI also estimated that 7.4 billion pounds of annual PVC resin production operated by Shintech Inc. in Plaquemine and Addis, Formosa Plastics Corp. USA in Baton Rouge and Westlake Chemical Corp. in Plaquemine and Geismar also are shut down.

The region also is home to several polystyrene production sites, as well as sites making elastomers, polyurethane feedstocks and other materials. Refineries that make propylene monomer as a byproduct of gasoline production also are in the area. Some of that propylene then is used to make polypropylene resin.

As a result, resin prices that buyers had hoped to see leveling out after 18 months of steady increases could be heading up again — an unwelcome event for plastics processors throughout North America.

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