March. 2023
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U.S. Chemical Producers Plan for 400 Turnarounds in Second Quarter

The U.S. Chemical Processing Industry is preparing for a heavy round of maintenance projects in the second quarter of 2023, with industry leaders such as LyondellBasell Industries NV (NYSE:LYB) (Rotterdam, Netherlands), Westlake Chemical (NYSE:WLK) (Houston, Texas) and Linde plc (NYSE:LIN) (Woking, England) using turnarounds at some of their largest facilities to better process ethylene, hydrogen, chlorine and other products in high demand. Industrial Info is tracking nearly 400 maintenance-related projects in the U.S. Chemical Processing Industry that are set to kick off from April through June, with the petrochemicals sector accounting for about 40% of the total spending.


LyondellBasell leads all other parent companies with more than $100 million in spending from just three maintenance projects, including a plant-wide turnaround at its ethylene complex in Morris, Illinois. One of the largest petrochemical facilities in the U.S. Midwest, the complex produces 1.13 billion pounds per year of ethylene, 606 million pounds per year of low-density polyethylene (LDPE) and 700 million pounds per year of linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE). Subscribers to Industrial Info's Global Market Intelligence (GMI) Chemical Processing Project Database can learn more from a detailed project report.

LyondellBasell's executives acknowledge market conditions likely will prove challenging in the near term, but are optimistic about its growing presence in a rapidly developing market, particularly for ethylene and its derivatives. For more information, see February 6, 2023, article - LyondellBasell Pushes Ethylene, Plastics Recycling for 2023.

Westlake, which reported record net sales of $15.8 billion and record net income of $2.2 billion for full-year 2022, accounts for more than $40 million in second-quarter turnarounds, more than half of which is attributed to its plastic monomers plant in Calvert City, Kentucky. The Calvert City plant is hosting a series of turnarounds, the longest of which is expected to be on its 730 million-pound-per-year ethylene unit. Subscribers can read more in Industrial Info's project report.

Steven Bender, the chief financial officer of Westlake, acknowledged this would be a "slightly busier year" for his company's maintenance activity. "For 2023, we are prioritizing quick-return projects, while also allocating appropriate amounts to maintain and operate our facilities safely," Bender said in a recent quarterly earnings-related conference call. "This includes the planned turnaround at our Calvert City ethylene unit scheduled to begin in May, that is projected to last approximately 30 days."

Other Calvert City units expected to see turnarounds in the coming months include the:
  • 250,000-metric-ton-per-year chlorine unit; see project report
  • 1.375 billion-pound-per-year ethylene dichloride (EDC) unit; see project report
  • 1.3 billion-pound-per-year vinyl chloride monomer (VCM) unit; see project report
  • four natural/fuel gas-fired boiler units; see project report

Linde accounts for more individual second-quarter maintenance kickoffs than any other chemical company, spread across a dozen states from California to Connecticut. These include three hydrogen unit turnarounds at its East Chicago Hydrogen Plant in Whiting, Indiana, and another at its St. Charles Hydrogen Plant in Norco, Louisiana. The East Chicago units collectively produce 220 million standard cubic feet per day, while the St. Charles unit produces 135 million standard cubic feet per day. Subscribers can read detailed reports on East Chicago's No. 4, No. 5 and No. 6 units, and the St. Charles unit.

BASF SE (Ludwigshafen, Germany) is preparing for more than $30 million worth of turnarounds, the bulk of which are at facilities along the U.S. Gulf Coast. The company is set to perform maintenance on a cyclohexanone unit at its complex in Freeport, Texas, which is its oldest site outside Europe, and a toluene diisocyanate (TDI) unit at its complex in Geismar, Louisiana. Both of these units are of particular importance to BASF, as it recently announced it would close several plants in Germany, including two that produce cyclohexanone and TDI.

Subscribers can read detailed project reports on the turnarounds at the Freeport cyclohexanone unit and Geismar TDI unit.

Subscribers to Industrial Info's GMI Project Database can click here for a full list of detailed reports for projects mentioned in this article, and click here for a full list of related plant profiles.

Subscribers can click here for a full list of reports for maintenance-related projects in the U.S. Chemical Processing Industry that are set to kick off from April through June.

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