MEGlobal to complete US EG project by Sept, output by Nov

Author: Joseph Chang

2019/08/19

NEW YORK (ICIS)--Kuwait-based MEGlobal’s 750,000 tonne/year ethylene glycol (EG) project in Oyster Creek, Texas, US is on track for mechanical completion by early September 2019, an official told ICIS on Monday.

Picture source: Photoalto/REX/Shutterstock

“The plant should be mechanically complete in early September, and we are expecting product availability in November,” said Clarence Stadlwieser, global operations excellence director at MEGlobal, in an interview with ICIS.

The project – MEGlobal’s first in the US and being built by US-based engineering and construction firm Fluor - is coming in ahead of schedule and under budget, he noted.

“We are trending under budget by almost two digits (10%). Schedule-wise, compared to the US industry standard, we are a few months ahead of schedule,” said Stadlwieser.

Construction on the $1bn-plus Oyster Creek project started in March 2018. There had been heavy foundation work on the site in late 2017 and early 2018, he noted.

Leadership, supervision and accountability were key aspects to the project’s success, along with a focus on safety, noted Fluor.

“We instituted a leadership and training agenda from the craft supervisor to the foreman level, to motivate and keep them engaged with the work,” said Rocky Plemons, vice president, construction, at Fluor.

“When there’s trouble with execution and performance, normally it’s not about the craft people but the supervisors not being engaged and driving performance,” he added.

The EG from the Oyster Creek plant will be “predominantly for export” with much going to Latin America and other parts of the world, and product also potentially going to Europe, noted Stadlwieser.

China has 25% tariffs on imports of ethylene glycol (EG) from the US instituted as of August 2018 as part of the ongoing trade dispute.

MEGlobal’s plant in Fort Saskatchewan, Canada has 460,000 tonnes/year of EG capacity, and its two plants in Prentiss, Canada, have EG capacities of 430,000 tonnes/year each, according to the ICIS Supply and Demand Database.

Image above shows polyethylene terephthalate (PET), which is made with EG

(adds "in other parts of the world", paragraph 9)

Interview article by Joseph Chang