News from Notch Consulting, Inc.

September 4, 2008

Update on Gustav, Part II

Filed under: Uncategorized — Notch @ 2:31 pm

The news coming out of the Gulf is fairly consistent, minimal damage from the storm but extensive damage to electrical power transmission due to downed lines caused by high winds, particularly around Baton Rouge.

From the Associated Press,

The path of Hurricane Gustav offered New Orleans a reprieve, but 80 miles away where utilities say the devastation was the worst they have ever seen, the storm offered nothing but punishment.

The region’s top power company, Entergy Corp., said the Baton Rouge area has never suffered damage as severe as that caused by Gustav. The last storm that caused damage close to Gustav was in 1992 when Hurricane Andrew hit south Florida, crossed the Gulf of Mexico and then slammed Louisiana.

The Department of Energy said Thursday morning that 1 million customers are without power, including 925,963 in Louisiana. That is down nearly 200,000 customers from Wednesday afternoon.

Entergy is reporting 664,857 customers without power Thursday afternoon, down from a peak of 850,000 Tuesday morning and the second most in the utility’s 95-year history trailing only Katrina in 2005 when the utility had 1.1 million outages. Entergy said most customers in Arkansas should have power back by the end of Friday.

Rubber & Plastics News (subscription required) is reporting that Lion Copolymer’s SBR plant in Baton Rouge and EPDM plant in Geismar both sustained only minimal damage. The SBR plant plans to resume production early next week, contingent upon power being restored by Friday (September 5). No word yet on startup at the Geismar plant.

ExxonMobil has provided an update on the situation on its website.

ExxonMobil Baton Rouge personnel are continuing a detailed damage assessment and have begun clean-up and restoration activities. At this time, the Baton Rouge Complex, which includes Refining and Chemical facilities, continues to be shut down due to damage associated with Gustav. We are assessing restart options, but are unable to provide a restart schedule at this time.

Chalmette Refining is also conducting assessments to determine the impact of Gustav. A damage assessment team is at the facility, and based upon initial assessments damage does not appear to be severe. Restart plans have been developed pending results of the final damage assessment, but we are unable to provide a restart schedule at this time.

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