Formosa Confirms US Cracker Plans

Business, Company Strategy, Olefins, Polyolefins, Projects, US

By Malini Hariharan

One more US cracker and propane dehydrogenation (PDH) project has been confirmed. After months of speculation Formosa Plastics has announced that plans to build a 800,000 tonnes/year ethane cracker, a 600,000 tonnes/year PDH plant and a 300,000 tonnes/year low density polyethylene (LDPE) plant at Point Comfort, Texas. The $1.7bn investment is due to be completed in 2016.

Ethylene from the cracker will feed the LDPE unit and other existing downstream plants at the site. The company did not identify plans for the propylene from the PDH unit but said the additional propylene will provide ‘operational flexibility’

Formosa joins Chevron Phillips Chemical, Shell Chemicals and Dow Chemicals with plans for new crackers in the US during 2016-17.

South Africa-based Sasol is undergoing a feasibility study, due in the second half of 2013, for a $3.5bn-$4.5bn cracker of 1.0-1.4m tonnes/year at Lake Charles, Louisiana. Sasol already has a 470,000 tonne/year cracker at the site.

Dow Chemicals also plans to restart its 390,000 tonne/year cracker in St. Charles, Louisiana, by the end of 2012.

The shale gas fueled ethane boom has also prompted companies to plan expansions or debottlenecks at existing sites, including Westlake Chemical, LyondellBasell and INEOS. Other companies who have said they are evaluating new crackers include Saudi Arabia’s SABIC, Brazil’s Braskem, as well as US-based start-up Aither Chemicals.

The expansions and new projects add up to an estimated 29% increase in US ethylene capacity by 2017. The extra ethylene will also trigger a wave of capacity addition downstream. Given the capacity additions planned elsewhere in the world, including China, it is perhaps time for some rational thinking in the US.


M&A Predictions For 2012


By Malini Hariharan After a record year of M&A activity will uncertainty ab...

Learn more

The Changing Landscape For Manufacturers


  The New Normal involves three major transformations in the nature of cons...

Learn more
More posts
Rate of recovery hugely reliant on effectiveness of government policies

By John Richardson UNLESS MORE action is taken by developed countries to help counter the impact of ...

China bans on single-use plastics move forward with major recycling investments likely

By John Richardson THIS EVENT slipped under most people’s radar in the midst of the pandemic crisi...

Developing world polymers demand unlikely to see quick rebound

By John Richardson THIS IS a tragedy in the genuine sense of the word, not just in the so-often misu...

China’s policy dilemma: raising local demand while protecting exports

  By John Richardson IN THIS Western-centric world, a huge amount of ink is split over the cons...

China’s polyethylene demand good so far in 2020 but beware of risks ahead

Note that all the comparisons in this post are on a year-on-year basis unless otherwise stated By Jo...

Ah, I see: China’s booming demand mystery a little closer to being solved

  Note that all the data comparisons below are on a year-on-year basis By John Richardson THE P...

The China polyester mystery continues in a world turned upside down

By John Richardson SOMETHING very strange is happening in China’s polyester industry which has eno...

China will struggle to boost local retail sales during rest of 2020 with export outlook uncertain

By John Richardson IF IT were easy, then there would be an oversupply of owners of large yachts in M...


Market Intelligence

ICIS provides market intelligence that help businesses in the energy, petrochemical and fertilizer industries.

Learn more


Across the globe, ICIS consultants provide detailed analysis and forecasting for the petrochemical, energy and fertilizer markets.

Learn more

Specialist Services

Find out more about how our specialist consulting services, events, conferences and training courses can help your teams.

Learn more

ICIS Insight

From our news service to our thought-leadership content, ICIS experts bring you the latest news and insight, when you need it.

Learn more