08 November 2012 00:01 [Source: ICIS news]
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HOUSTON (ICIS)--US-based vinyls producer Georgia Gulf joined on Wednesday a number of other US petrochemical companies that are either considering new crackers or proceeding with construction plans.
Georgia Gulf said it is considering investing in a joint partnership on a condo cracker to secure a cost-effective way to get more ethylene feedstock.
CEO Paul Carrico, while answering a question during a third-quarter earnings call, said the company has long sought to be able to secure cost-effective ethylene.
“Our mission is to get about 50% of our volume requirements under a cost-base type of situation,” he said.
Carrico said Georgia Gulf has been thinking about such an arrangement as other US-based petrochemical producers have announced new ethane cracker projects.
“We’ve had quite a few discussions, and it ebbs and flows with how those participants either make sense to us or don’t,” he said.
Carrico said nothing definitive has yet emerged from those discussions.
“We’re willing to make the investment in order to get to the position where we’re trying to target,” he said.
The US shale boom has caused many producers to look at ethane as the cheaper alternative to cracking naphtha.
Shell is evaluating a site in Monaca, Pennsylvania.
ExxonMobil said it make a final decision on a US cracker project in the second quarter of 2013.
Formosa Plastics also said it plans to build an 800,000 tonne/year cracker in Point Comfort, Texas.
In March, Aither Chemicals and Renewable Manufacturing Gateway (RMG) said they were identifying potential sites in the Appalachia region for a cracker.
LyondellBasell said in April that it has started discussions with potential partners for a condo cracker, potentially at its Channelview complex in Texas.
In August, US-based Occidental Chemical (OxyChem) and Mexichem signed a memorandum to evaluate a joint venture to build an ethane cracker. If feasible, the 500,000 tonne/year facility could begin operations in 2016.
Additional reporting by Ken Fountain
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