CP Chem open to building another cracker, with US a possibility: exec

30 October 2013 18:17  [Source: ICIS news]

CPChem(adds paragraph 8)

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Chevron Phillips Chemical (CP Chem) is looking at opportunities to build crackers even as it prepares to build one on the US Gulf coast, an executive with joint venture partner Phillips 66 said on Wednesday.

CP Chem continues to look around the world at where it can build a cost-competitive cracker, said Tim Taylor, an executive vice president with US refiner Phillips 66.

“Frankly, the US continues to look good,” he said during Phillips 66’s Q3 earnings conference call.

Earlier this month, CP Chem’s board granted final approval for the company’s planned petrochemicals project on the US Gulf coast, and the company awarded engineering contracts for the project’s ethane cracker and polyethylene (PE) plants.

Construction will begin in early 2014.

The 1.5m tonne/year ethane cracker will be built at CP Chem’s Cedar Bayou plant in Baytown, Texas, and two PE units, each with a capacity of 500,000 tonnes/year, will be built at a site in Old Ocean, Texas, near CP Chem’s Sweeny plant. 

The project is among six new crackers planned to be built along the US Gulf coast in the wake of a shale gas and oil revolution that continues to boom.

“If you look around the world, the North American energy market with NGLs [natural gas liquids] continues to be a place where you can say a second wave of cracker expansion would make sense,” Taylor said.

That second wave likely would not occur until later this decade or early in the next one after the coming wave of cracker projects get built, he said.

By: Jeremy Pafford
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