Corrected: AFPM '14: Tight US labour to cause delays, overruns − CP Chem CEO

01 April 2014 18:43  [Source: ICIS news]

Correction: In the ICIS story headlined “AFPM '14: Tight US labour to cause delays, overruns − CP Chem CEO” dated 1 April 2014, the incorrect day was given for the company's ground-breaking ceremony. Please read in the fourth paragraph … ground-breaking ceremony on Wednesday … instead of … on Tuesday … A corrected story follows.

SAN ANTONIO, Texas (ICIS)--The shortage of skilled labour could cause delays and cost overruns at the several new US petrochemical plants being built, the CEO of Chevron Phillips Chemical said on Tuesday.

However, companies will not cancel projects as a result of labour shortages, said Peter Cella, CEO. He made his comments on the sidelines of the International Petrochemical Conference (IPC).

Chevron Phillips Chemical is among the several companies building new plants in the US, which will take advantage of the country's growing supply of low-cost natural gas liquids (NGLs).

Chevron Phillips, in fact, is holding a ground-breaking ceremony on Wednesday for its 1.5m tonne/year cracker in Cedar Bayou, Texas.

The Cedar Bayou cracker is among the 10 that companies thave announced. There are another 10 expansion projects.

Furthermore, companies have announced plans to build polyethylene (PE) plants and propane dehydrogenation (PDH) units, which will produce on-purpose propylene.

The flood of construction projects will strain labour markets.

The IPC devoted a forum to discuss workforce development, and Cella was among the speakers.

The US Federal Reserve has noted that refiners and petrochemical companies are having a difficult time finding engineers and construction labourers for current and proposed plant expansions.

Hosted by the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM), the IPC runs through Tuesday.

Additional reporting by Joseph Chang

The following lists the new projects that have been announced.

Company C2 capacity Downstream Location Start-up
Chevron Phillips Chemical 1.5m tonnes HDPE, LLDPE Cedar Bayou, Texas mid-late 2017
ExxonMobil Chemical 1.5m tonnes PE Baytown, Texas Late 2016
Dow Chemical 1.5m tonnes LDPE, other PE, EPDM, elastomers, LAO (JV) Freeport, Texas 2017
Sasol 1.5m tonnes LDPE, LLDPE, EO, MEG, detergent alcohols Lake Charles, Louisiana 2017
Formosa Plastics 1.0m tonnes LDPE, MEG Point Comfort, Texas Q1 2017
Formosa Plastics 1.2m tonnes NA Louisiana NA
Occidental Chemical/Mexichem 544,000 tonnes EDC, VCM Ingleside, Texas 2017
Axiall/Lotte World-scale MEG Louisiana 2018
Shell World-scale PE, MEG Monaca, Pennsylvania 2019-2020*
Odebrecht World-scale PE Wood County, West Virginia NA
INEOS 115,000 tonnes NA Chocolate Bayou, Texas 2014
Williams 273,000 tonnes NA Geismar, Louisiana Apr 2014
Westlake Chemical 82,000 tonnes NA Calvert City, Kentucky Q2 2014
LyondellBasell 363,000 tonnes NA La Porte, Texas mid-2014
Chevron Phillips Chemical 91,000 tonnes NA Sweeny. Texas 2014
Westlake Chemical 113,000 tonnes NA Lake Charles, Louisiana 2014
LyondellBasell 113,000 tonnes NA Channelview, Texas 2015
LyondellBasell 363,000 tonnes NA Corpus Christi, Texas Late 2015
Huntsman 19,300 tonnes EO Port Neches, Texas NA
BASF Fina Petrochemicals NA NA Port Athur, Texas 2014

* ICIS estimate

Source: Companies, ICIS analysis

The following lists polyethylene projects.

Company Project Capacity Grades Location Start-up
Sasol/INEOS New unit 470,000 tonnes HDPE US End 2015
Sasol New unit 450,000 tonnes LLDPE Lake Charles, Louisiana 2016
Sasol New unit 420,000 tonnes LDPE Lake Charles, Louisiana NA
ExxonMobil New units (2) 1.3m tonnes PE (premium) Mont Belvieu, Texas Late 2016
Chevron Phillips New units (2) 1m tonnes HDPE, LLDPE, other Sweeny, Texas 2017
Dow Chemical New units NA PE (high-value), LDPE Freeport, Texas 2017
Formosa Plastics New unit 300,000 tonnes LDPE Point Comfort, Texas 2016
Shell New units NA Unspec Monaca, Pennsylvania 2019-2020*
Odebrecht New units (3) NA Unspec West Virginia NA
LyondellBasell Debottleneck 100,000 tonnes Unspec US Early 2014
LyondellBasell New unit 454,000 tonnes Unspec US Late 2016

By: Al Greenwood
+1 713 525 2645

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