Corrected: Georgia Gulf is the latest US producer to mull new cracker

30 December 2012 17:27  [Source: ICB]

US shale boom has caused many producers to look at ethane as the cheaper alternative to cracking naphtha

Correction: In the ICIS story headlined "Georgia Gulf is the latest US producer to mull new cracker" please read, in the sixth paragraph …US-based Occidental Chemical… instead of …Mexico-based Occidental Chemical…. A corrected story follows.

US-based vinyls producer Georgia Gulf has joined a number of other US petrochemical companies that are either considering new crackers or proceeding with construction plans.

Georgia Gulf may invest in a partnership on a condo cracker to secure a cost-effective way to get more ethylene feedstock. CEO Paul Carrico, 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, adding that Georgia Gulf has been thinking about such an arrangement as other US-based 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 led many producers to look at ethane as the cheaper alternative to cracking naphtha. Chevron Phillips Chemical and Dow Chemical will build crackers. Shell is evaluating a site in Monaca, Pennsylvania. ExxonMobil will make a decision in the second quarter of 2013. Formosa Plastics has plans for Point Comfort, Texas.

Aither Chemicals and Renewable Manufacturing Gateway are identifying sites in Appalachia. LyondellBasell has started discussions with potential partners for a condo cracker.

US-based Occidental Chemical and Mexichem signed a memorandum to evaluate a joint venture to build an ethane cracker. Other companies include SABIC and Thailand's Indorama.

Additional reporting by Ken Fountain

By: Tracy Dang
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