US TPC Group approves funding for on-purpose butadiene project

09 August 2011 16:12  [Source: ICIS news]

BD is a feedstock for SBR, used to make tyresHOUSTON (ICIS)--TPC Group has approved funding for further engineering work to restart an idled dehydrogenation unit at its Houston site to eventually produce up to 600m lb/year (270,000 tonnes/year) of on-purpose butadiene (BD), the US-based chemicals firm said on Tuesday.

The project, which will be coupled with a new TPC Group Oxo-D production unit, will use as its primary feedstock butane, a natural gas liquid, the production volumes of which continue to increase as a result of US shale gas development, the company said.

TPC developed the Oxo-D butadiene technology in the 1960s.

The project will help meet growing North American butadiene demand and “address the structural shortage of supply caused by the shift from heavier to lighter cracker feedslates”, TPC added.

The engineering phase is expected to be completed by the end of the first quarter 2012. 

"We have a 50-year history of commercial production of on-purpose butadiene and are well positioned to bring the needed additional butadiene to the marketplace,” said Michael Bloesch, TPC’s group vice president for strategic initiatives.

“Customers have expressed a strong interest for this project, which provides long-term security of supply of a critical product to meet their growing business needs," he added.

TPC did not disclose financial details or the project’s targeted start-up date for butadiene production.

The company in February announced plans to restart one of two idled dehydrogenation units at its Houston site. 

BD is a feedstock for styrene butadiene rubber (SBR), which is used to produce tyres.

For more on TPC Group and other producers visit ICIS company intelligence

By: Stefan Baumgarten
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