BASF-Total JV starts up 10th furnace at Texas cracker

24 March 2014 21:04  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--The BASF-Total joint venture steam cracker in Port Arthur, Texas has started up its 10th furnace, pushing its ethylene capacity to more than 1m tonnes/year, the companies announced on Monday.

The project, which was originally announced in 2011, gives the plant improved flexibility through its ability to use ethane, naphtha and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) feedstocks.

The furnace's start-up increases the plant's nameplate ethylene capacity to 1.04m tonnes/year, said Carole Smargon, BASF's communications manager for North America. Previous capacity was 934,000 tonnes/year, according to the ICIS Plants and Projects database.

"The safe and successful startup of the 10th furnace, along with other optimisation measures taken at the steam cracker facility, enhances the joint venture's competitive position within the petrochemicals industry," said Heidi Alderman, senior vice president for petrochemicals at BASF. "This investment is another example of BASF-Total Petrochemicals' strong commitment to its Port Arthur operations."

The BASF-Total JV, named BASF Total Petrochemicals, revamped the Port Arthur steam cracker last year to process ethane.

"These recent investments in the steam cracker allow the plant to produce more than 85% of its ethylene based on cost advantaged feedstocks," said Philippe Doligez, senior vice president for Total Refining & Petrochemicals Americas. "Along with increased capacity, the new furnace reinforces the availability of the plant."

Germany-based BASF owns 60% of the joint venture, while France-based Total owns 40%.

By: Jeremy Pafford
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