FocusExxonMobil brings total US C2 expansions to over 33% of capacity

01 June 2012 20:54  [Source: ICIS news]

By Joseph Chang

NEW YORK (ICIS)--US-based ExxonMobil Chemical’s announcement of a new 1.5m tonne/year cracker in Texas by 2016 brings the tally of new US ethylene capacity announcements to 33% of existing capacity.

ExxonMobil confirmed earlier on Friday that the ethane cracker would provide ethylene feedstock for two new 650,000 tonne/year high-performance polyethylene (PE) lines at the company’s nearby Mont Belvieu Plastics Plant.

ExxonMobil has filed permit applications with the US Environmental Protection Agency and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, with government reviews and approvals expected to take around a year.

The company will make a final investment decision following completion of the government’s reviews and approvals, said spokesperson Margaret Ross.

ExxonMobil’s move - with its planned top-of-the-line 1.5m tonne/year cracker - could dissuade others to build world-scale crackers of their own in the US.

With ExxonMobil’s announcement, the total planned additional ethylene capacity in the US now amounts to 8.89m tonnes/year, or 33.4% of existing US capacity which would come on by 2017, according to an analysis by ICIS.

This includes new crackers, expansions, debottlenecks and restarts.

ExxonMobil joins a crowded field of companies planning new crackers in the US – Chevron Phillips Chemical, Shell, Dow Chemical and Formosa Plastics.

Sasol is undertaking a feasibility study for a 1.0-1.4m tonne/year cracker at its Lake Charles, Louisiana site, with the study targeted for completion by the second half of 2013.

The Sasol announcement is included in the total ICIS tally at an estimated 1.2m tonnes/year for its proposed cracker.

Other companies that have said they would consider building or partnering on world-scale crackers in the US include Saudi Arabia-based SABIC, Brazil’s Braskem, Thailand-based companies Indorama and PTT Global Chemicals, Mexichem, US-based Occidental Petroleum and US-based start-up firm Aither Chemicals.

These are not included in the ICIS analysis.


Company Project Capacity Location Cost Start-up
ExxonMobil Chemical New cracker 1.5 tonnes Baytown, Texas NA 2016
Chevron Phillips Chemical New cracker 1.5m tonnes Cedar Bayou, Texas NA Q1 2017
Dow Chemical New cracker World-scale US Gulf Coast NA 2016-2017
Shell New cracker World-scale US Northeast NA 2016-2017
Formosa Plastics New cracker 800,000 tonnes Point Comfort, Texas $1.7bn 2016
Dow Chemical Restart 390,000 tonnes St. Charles, Louisiana NA end 2012
Westlake Chemical Expansion 108,863 tonnes Lake Charles, Louisiana NA H2 2012
Williams Expansion 272,158 tonnes Geismar, Louisiana $350m-$400m Q3 2013
INEOS Debottleneck 115,000 tonnes Chocolate Bayou, Texas NA end 2013
Westlake Chemical Expansion 113,399 tonnes Lake Charles, Louisiana NA 2014
LyondellBasell Expansion 386,000 tonnes La Porte, Texas NA 2014
Considered expansions
Sasol New cracker 1.0m-1.4m tonnes Lake Charles, Louisiana $3.5bn-$4.5bn NA
Indorama Ventures New cracker 1.3m tonnes NA NA 2018
LyondellBasell Expansion NA Channelview, Texas NA NA
SABIC New cracker World-scale US NA NA
Braskem New cracker NA US NA NA
Occidental Chemical New cracker NA Ingleside, Texas NA NA
Aither Chemicals, Renewable Manufacturing Gateway New cracker NA US Northeast $750m 2016
PTT Global Chemical New cracker NA NA NA NA

Source: ICIS

Additional reporting by Graeme Paterson in London

By: Joseph Chang
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