07 May 2012 00:00 [Source: ICB]
LyondellBasell has started discussions with potential partners about a condo cracker, CEO Jim Gallogly said.
Various companies have announced plans to build cracker projects based on new supplies of shale gas in the US, but Gallogly does not expect many of these companies to go at it alone.
"They're raising their hand to say we're available," he said during a conference call with investors. "A number of them have contacted us."
LyondellBasell's Channelview complex in Texas could be a potential site for the cracker, he said. But it is too soon to speculate on possible sites because discussions have just started, he added.
Last year, Gallogly brought up the concept of a condo cracker, in which LyondellBasell would develop such a plant with another company.
LyondellBasell is also studying the economics of a metathesis project in the US, to boost propylene production. Gallogly noted that several propylene projects based on propane dehydrogenation (PDH) technology have already been announced.
"There have been a fair number of announcements related to PDH units and people can overbuild rapidly," he said. "So we'll look at relative economics and make sure that still makes sense as we develop the engineering on that project."
Butadiene (BD) has been in short supply because of lighter cracking, he said. "As a result of that, the [propylene] molecule has been short, butadiene has been short and you've heard people talk about PDH units, metathesis units," he said.
"The propane crack is pretty good right now," Gallogly remarked. "It was a pretty warm winter, propane went long. So that's a pretty nice crack right now which takes some pressure off of ethane."
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