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LyondellBasell Idles Cracker Due to Economic Slump

8:15 AM MST | November 11, 2008 | Lindsey Bewley

LyondellBasell says it will idle its Equistar La Porte, TX cracker until early 2009 due to declining market and economic conditions. Natural gas liquids-based ethylene producers are experiencing “break-even economics,” and it is better for them to manage continued weak demand by shutting down one plant, rather than by reducing operating rates across all of their sites, market watchers say. LyondellBasell may have chosen to idle the La Porte plant because it is a stand-alone unit, making it less difficult to shut down than some of the company’s...

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