INEOS to raise Chocolate Bayou, Texas, ethylene capacity 6.5%

28 January 2012 00:25  [Source: ICIS news]

INEOS Chocolate Bayou complexHOUSTON (ICIS)--INEOS plans to boost ethylene capacity at its Chocolate Bayou complex in Texas by 6.5% in 2013, a company spokesperson said on Friday.

"We will add new ethane cracking capacity and will also expand all associated infrastructure," said group communications manager Richard Longden.

The company has approved and authorised engineering, permitting and construction, he said.

INEOS expects the debottleneck project to produce an additional 115,000 tonnes/year of ethylene capacity in Chocolate Bayou by the end of next year.

The company has two crackers at the site, with a combined 1.792m tonnes/year of capacity.

News of the potential debottlenecking first surfaced in March, 2011, when Dennis Seith, CEO of INEOS Olefins & Polymers USA, told ICIS that it was undertaking engineering studies of the project.

In addition to its crackers in Chocolate Bayou, INEOS has 950,000 tonnes/ year of high density polyethylene (HDPE) capacity at La Porte, Texas, and in its joint venture HDPE operation with Chevron- Phillips Chemical at Cedar Bayou, Texas.

In December, INEOS said it had nominated three sites on the US Gulf coast as possible locations for its planned 500,000 tonne/year ethylene oxide (EO) and derivatives capacity investment. INEOS said that it would choose between Chocolate Bayou, La Porte and Plaquemine, Louisiana, Battleground.

Several companies have announced plans to add ethylene capacity in the US.
Shell is expected to announce plans early this year for a new cracker that will make use of Marcellus Shale reserves.

Chevron Phillips Chemical said in December it would build a 1.5m tonne/year ethane cracker at its Cedar Bayou complex in Texas.

Additional reporting by Joe Chang

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By: William Lemos
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