Price and market trends: LyondellBasell US ethylene expansions on track

08 May 2014 17:26 Source:ICIS Chemical Business

The expansion programs at three plants, represents investment of $1.3bn and will boost capacity by 1.85bn lb/year

LyondellBasell CEO Jim Gallogy said on 2 May that the company’s multi-plant ethylene expansion project is on target to be fully operational by the end of 2015, after receiving a key permit for its cracker in Corpus Christi, Texas, US.


 LyondellBasell is expanding capacity at Channelview and two sites

Copyright: LyondellBasell

On 16 April, the company received a final greenhouse gas permit from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) required for the Corpus Christi project. While the EPA issued the permit, it was drafted by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ).

Expansion at Corpus Christi is expected to begin during the second half of this year with start-up scheduled for late 2015. It will increase the capacity of the cracker by 800m lb/year (353,000 tonnes/year).

“Successfully securing our permit in Corpus Christi means our multi-plant ethylene expansion program is on target to be fully operational by the end of 2015,” said LyondellBasell CEO Jim Gallogly.

“Rather than build a new plant from the ground up, which can take five years or more, our approach is to expand our existing facilities and seize the feedstock advantage more swiftly and cost effectively,” Gallogly added.

The company said plant modifications at its La Porte facility, also in Texas, are well underway and scheduled to be completed in the summer, which would increase capacity by 800m lb/year. In early 2015, the company should also complete a 250m lb/year ethylene expansion at Channelview, Texas. This means, when fully operational, the company’s multi-plant expansion project is expected to increase annual ethylene capacity by an estimated 1.85bn lb/year (839,000 tonnes/year). LyondellBasell said the expansion program at all three plants, which began in 2013, represents a total investment of approximately $1.3bn.

By Jonathan Lopez