US Badlands NGL plans to build $4bn PE plant in North Dakota

Jessie Waldheim


US Badlands NGL plans to build $4bn PE plant in North DakotaHOUSTON (ICIS)–Badlands NGL is developing a 1.5m tonne/year polyethylene (PE) facility in North Dakota to convert the state’s abundant ethane into the plastic, the governor’s office announced on Monday.

“This project is fully aligned with our goals to reduce flaring, add value to our energy resources right here in North Dakota and create diverse job opportunities across the state,” Governor Jack Dalrymple said in a statement.

The state has been pushing producers to capture more natural gas and natural gas liquids (NGLs) as the shale boom has outpaced the building of gas-capturing infrastructure in the Bakken shale play. North Dakota instituted minimum capture requirements, effective on 1 October.

“This facility is the solution needed to add value to North Dakota’s ethane supply and make it a commercially marketable product,” Badlands CEO William Jeffery Gilliam said in a statement. “In doing so, there will actually be a market advantage for North Dakota PE products.”

To develop the PE project, Badlands will be working with strategic partners Tecnicas Reunidas, a Spain-based petrochemical design and technology company, and Vinmar, a US-based project development and marketing company.

Preliminary engineering work is expected to be complete before the end of 2014, which will include technology evaluations, engineering and planning and final site selection. The facility is expected to take three years for full development.

Vinmar and Badlands also have signed a 15-year agreement for 100% of the PE to be produced by the facility. Planned capacity is 1.5m tonnes/year of PE production, but the configuration of the facility and ethylene production capacity was not specified.

The governor’s news release provided little information about Badlands NGL.

On its Linked In page, Badlands NGL said its public affiliate is Iron Sands.

Iron Sands was created to acquire a company and, as such, is described as a blank-check company, according to its annual report.

The CEO of Iron Sands is Samir Masri, who is also the founding partner of Masri & Masri, a tax and accounting services company in Great Neck, New York.

A call to Masri & Masri was forwarded to its operating partner for the Badlands NGL project. The call was not returned.

Multiple ethylene and PE projects have been announced in the US, most expected to come online within the next three years.

The following lists some of the projects.

Company Capacity Grades Location Start-up
Sasol 450,000 tonnes LLDPE Lake Charles, Louisiana 2016
Sasol 420,000 tonnes LDPE Lake Charles, Louisiana NA
Sasol/INEOS 470,000 tonnes HDPE La Porte, Texas 2016
Braskem NA UHMWPE La Porte, Texas H1 2016
ExxonMobil 1.3m tonnes PE (premium) Mont Belvieu, Texas Late 2016
Chevron Phillips 1m tonnes HDPE, LLDPE, other Sweeny, Texas 2017
Dow Chemical NA PE (high-value), LDPE Freeport, Texas 2017
Formosa Plastics 625,500 short tons LDPE Point Comfort, Texas 2017
Shell 1.6m tonnes HDPE, LLDPE Monaca, Pennsylvania 2018
Odebrecht NA Unspec West Virginia NA
LyondellBasell 454,000 tonnes Unspec US Mid 2017
Badlands NGL 1.5m tonnes Unspec North Dakota NA

Additional reporting by Al Greenwood


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