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Three-week turnaround at TPC Group Houston plant to impact MTBE output: sources

Houston (Platts)--19 Jul 2016 556 pm EDT/2156 GMT


TPC Group will initiate a three-week maintenance at its Houston, Texas, facility that will impact MTBE production, sources said Tuesday.

The maintenance will begin within the next week, sources said. The company did not respond to a request for comment.

MTBE maintenance activity in the US Gulf Coast has been limited so far this year, especially compared with last year, sources have said. Enterprise Products Partners had a restart that was scheduled to conclude late last week and a turnaround that ended in the first quarter, the only other instances of significant production outages so far this year. All US Gulf Coast producers underwent turnarounds in the first quarter of last year.

The TPC Group maintenance could lead to some tightness in the US Gulf Coast MTBE market through the next month, with the activity coming so quickly after Enterprise's most recent restart, a source said.

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TPC Group's unit, a formerly idled unit that was restarted last year, has an MTBE output of at least 50,000 mt/year. Enterprise Products Partners has a capacity of 550,000 mt/year at its plant in Mont Belvieu, Texas. The other US Gulf Coast producers -- Huntsman (766,000 mt/year in Port Neches, Texas) and LyondellBasell (525,000 mt/year in Channelview, Texas) -- have been running at high rates this year, sources said.

S&P Global Platts assessed US Gulf Coast MTBE on Tuesday at $1.5720/gal FOB USG.

--Justin Schneewind, justin.schneewind@spglobal.com

--Edited by Annie Siebert, ann.siebert@spglobal.com




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