LyondellBasell eyes June start of Channelview cracker expansion

Source: ICIS News

2015/04/29

LyondellBasell eyes June start of Channelview cracker expansionHOUSTON (ICIS)--LyondellBasell expects to start up its cracker expansion project in Channelview, Texas, in June, the company said on Wednesday.

The project will expand ethylene capacity by 250m lb/year (113,000 tonnes/year), and it should cost about $200m, the company said during its Investor Day presentation.

The company also plans to expand its cracker in Corpus Christi, Texas. That will add 800m lb/year and cost $600m. LyondellBasell should start up the expansion in early 2016.

The company will conduct a second expansion project at Channelview, which will add another 550m lb/year of capacity. That project should start up in 2017 and cost $300m.

LyondellBasell may choose to sell this extra ethylene capacity into the merchant market or it may add derivatives units, CEO Bob Patel said in an earlier earnings conference call.

Those derivative units include a polyethylene (PE) plant and a metathesis unit, which would use ethylene to produce propylene.

The PE unit could have a capacity of 1bn lb/year and operations could start in the middle of 2017, LyondellBasell has said in earlier presentations.

The company has not listed cost estimates for the PE plant.

Likewise, the possible metathesis unit has no cost estimates. Also, LyondelBasell has not listed a capacity figure for the unit.

LyondellBasell has two crackers in Channelview, according to ICIS plants and projects. Each cracker has a capacity of 873,000 tonne/year.

Its cracker in Corpus Christi has a capacity of 265,000 tonnes/year.