MOSCOW (MRC) -- Sasol said Sept. 21 the new low density polyethylene (LDPE) plant, which had been slated to start up in early 2020 before it was damaged by fire during commissioning in January, did not sustain any significant storm impacts, reported S&P Global.
The company has resumed commissioning the plant, the last of the new units in the company's USD12.8 billion Lake Charles expansion, and expects to begin startup once power is fully restored at the site.
As MRC informed earlier, Sasol expects to restart crackers and downstream derivative units at its Lake Charles, Louisiana, complex by early- to mid-October once full load power is restored. "The Sasol Lake Charles site is currently partially energized," the company said.
Sasol added that it had finished damage assessments of all 14 manufacturing units and associated utilities and infrastructure at the complex, which was shut ahead of Hurricane Laura's Aug. 27 assault. Lake Charles took a direct hit from the Category 4 storm, which came ashore Aug. 27 packing 150 mph winds. Sasol said those assessments found moderate wind damage to cooling towers and some insulation and building damage, but no apparent damage to major process equipment, utilities and infrastructure.
Sasol's Lake Charles complex includes 1.5 million mt/year and 439,000 mt/year crackers; a 470,000 mt/year linear low density polyethylene plant (LLDPE); a 380,000 mt/year ethylene oxide/monoethylene glycol (MEG) unit; and a new 420,000 mt/year LDPE plant. The company issued a force majeure declaration on North American PE.
According to MRC's ScanPlast report, July estimated LDPE consumption in Russia decreased to 43,380 tonnes from 55,380 tonnes a month earlier. Angarsk Polymers Plant and Gazprom neftekhim Salavat cut thei shipments to the domestic market because of shutdowns for maintenance. Russia's estimated LDPE consumption grew to 335,000 tonnes in January-July 2020, up by 6% year on year. Despite the long outages, LDPE production increased, and imports also rose.
Sasol is an international integrated chemicals and energy company that leverages technologies and the expertise of our 31 270 people working in 32 countries. The company develops and commercialises technologies, and builds and operates world-scale facilities to produce a range of high-value product stream, including liquid fuels, petrochemicals and low-carbon electricity.