HOUSTON, Oct. 31 /PRNewswire/ -- Equistar Chemicals, LP, will temporarily idle the olefin unit at La Porte, Texas, today due to declining market and economic conditions. The La Porte olefin unit is expected to remain out of service until early 2009. The plant has a nameplate capacity of 1.7 billion pounds per year of ethylene and 700 million pounds of propylene.
"We have elected to take the olefin plant at La Porte offline for two to three months due to the drop-off in demand for ethylene and propylene as customers adjust year-end inventories and respond to fluid feedstock prices," said Ed Dineen, President of LyondellBasell's Chemicals Division. "Today's tight credit markets and low consumer confidence also are being felt by our customers, and this is contributing to decreased demand for petrochemical derivatives.
"With our olefins flexibility in North America, we can optimize physical assets and contain a portion of our costs while continuing to meet the needs of our customers. We will maintain the unit in a state of readiness to restart sooner, if market conditions improve."
The company will utilize this down time to conduct opportunity maintenance at the La Porte site. Other operations at the 540-acre complex are not affected by the temporary idling of the unit. This includes low-density and linear low-density polyethylene units as well as acetic acid and vinyl acetate monomer units.
Equistar Chemicals is an indirect subsidiary of LyondellBasell Industries AF S.C.A. LyondellBasell, through its global subsidiaries, has 11 olefins plants worldwide and a rated annual capacity of 14.9 billion pounds of ethylene and 8.7 billion pounds of propylene. This includes world-scale crackers in the United States at Channelview, La Porte, Chocolate Bayou and Corpus Christi, Texas; Clinton, Iowa, and Morris, Illinois; and in Europe at Wesseling and Muenchsmunster, Germany, and Berre, France.
LyondellBasell Industries is one of the world's largest polymers, petrochemicals and fuels companies. We are the global leader in polyolefins technology, production and marketing; a pioneer in propylene oxide and derivatives; and a significant producer of fuels and refined products, including biofuels. Through research and development, LyondellBasell develops innovative materials and technologies that deliver exceptional customer value and products that improve quality of life for people around the world. Headquartered in The Netherlands, LyondellBasell (http://www.lyondellbasell.com/) is privately owned by Access Industries.
CONTACT: David A. Harpole, +1-713-309-4125, for LyondellBasell
Web site: http://www.lyondellbasell.com/