ExxonMobil said it safely shut down its facility in Baytown, Texas, but continued normal operations at its facility in Baton Rouge, La. It kept its Beaumont, Texas, facility open initially, but as of Aug. 30 had completed shutdowns of the chemical plant, polyethylene plant and refinery at Beaumont, it said.
The company did not comment on news reports saying there were toxic chemical releases at the Beaumont and Baytown refineries because of storm-related damage.
"ExxonMobil's primary focus continues to be the safety of its employees," the company said. It is communicating with employees and their families to ensure their safety, it said.
Officials at Kuraray America Inc., a Houston-based manufacturer of resins, chemicals, fibres and textiles, said it knew of no damage to Kuraray facilities or injuries to Kuraray employees as of 28 Aug.
Kuraray stopped or reduced production at some facilities to manage raw materials and finished product inventory, the company said. It hoped to return to normal production by 31 Aug or 1 Sept, it said.
The Houston-based office of the International Institute of Synthetic Rubber Producers was closed during the storm and aftermath, according to Juan Ramon Salinas, managing director of the association.
The IISRP had to cancel committee meetings scheduled for 29-31 Aug because of the storm, as travel was restricted, he said, and many of the members who were to attend also had to deal with hurricane-related situations at their facilities.
All IISRP staff members were safe and accounted for, Salinas said. He planned to try to reopen the institute's office Aug. 31 if highway access was clear by then.
Parker Hannifin Corp. said in a 30 Aug blog post on its website that it has 11 facilities and 356 employees in the greater Houston area across four of its operating groups, and has three locations in southern Louisiana. Parker facilities were still being assessed for damage and business continuity plans have been activated.
"Parker's first priority has been to make sure that all team members in the area are safe and accounted for, a process that is ongoing," the firm said. "A second priority is to do what we can to provide immediate support to our team members and to the region generally."
Parker initiated its Employee Disaster Relief Fund, which provides dollars directly to affected team members from the Parker Foundation. Parker has also teamed with the American Red Cross to establish an employee giving portal where Parker employees in the US can contribute financially to the relief efforts and have those dollars matched by the foundation. one for one by The Parker Foundation.
GHX Industrial LLC, a Houston-based distributor and fabricator of industrial gaskets and hoses, posted notices on its website 29-30 Aug that its facilities in Houston and Beaumont were closed because of flooding and impassable road conditions.
The Corpus Christi office would be open normal hours, but attendance was not mandatory, according to the notice.
"Please check your routes and never place yourself in danger," GHX said. "If you can safely make it to the location, please do so."
A spokeswoman for Eriks North America, another distributor of rubber-related goods with a large presence in the region said in an 30 Aug email that it continued to assess the situation and wasn't yet ready to make a statement on the storm's impact.
The Houston warehouse facility of Ryco Hydraulics Inc. has been running on a generator and a smaller-than-usual crew after being closed 28-29 Aug, according to Ryco marketing specialist Bart Hubernak.
"There was a decision Saturday night (26 Aug), and we were still just getting walls of rain Monday," Hubernak said. "There was just no way we could open the facility. We literally could not."
The rain tapered off enough by 29 Aug to allow some major roads to reopen, but the building was still without power 30 Aug, according to Hubernak. Some hourly workers and about half of senior management were able to make it in 30 Aug he said.
Gordon Duff, Ryco vice president of operations, communicated constantly with employees to make sure everyone was safe, according to Hubernak. The company also connected with customers to make them aware of delays and closings, he said.
There were a few leaks, but no product was damaged, according to Hubernak. There is no official word on when electricity or freight service would be available again, but Ryco hoped to be back to normal operations in a day or two, he said.
There were heartening signs that refinery operations in Corpus Christi would recover very soon, but the refinery situation in Houston — which was expected to get another 8-12 inches of rain over the next several days — is far more uncertain, according to an 30 Aug report on Hurricane Harvey issued by IHS Markit.
Also, some shutdowns or operation reductions can be expected soon at Baton Rouge, the report said.
"Together, the affected facilities represent more than 30 percent of US refining capacity," according to IHS Markit. Some Corpus Christi capacity amounting to some 800,000 barrels a day was expected to restart very shortly, but even then it would take several days before normal production rates could resume, it said.
Texas accounts for 70% of total US production of ethylene, and 92% of propylene production is concentrated in facilities along the Texas-Louisiana coastline, according to the report.
There also is major production of polyethylene, polypropylene, benzene, chlor/alkali vinyls and methanol in the area, it said.
History suggests that hurricane-related supply disruptions yield higher product prices, and as such IHS Markit is currently reassessing our price forecast through the end of 2017," it said.