ExxonMobil begins construction on new Texas ethane cracker

19 June 2014 13:46 Source:ICIS News

ExxonMobil begins construction on new Texas ethane crackerHOUSTON (ICIS)--ExxonMobil Chemical has started construction at its new 1.5m tonne/year ethane cracker project and associated facilities in Baytown, Texas, the US-based energy and chemicals major said on Thursday.

The steam cracker will provide ethylene feedstock for downstream chemical processing, including two new 650,000 tonne/year polyethylene (PE) lines at the company’s Mont Belvieu site in Texas. Production at the new plants is expected to start up in 2017, the company said.

“The project is made possible in large part by abundant, affordable supplies of US natural gas for energy and chemical feedstock,” said Steve Pryor, president of ExxonMobil Chemical.

“Shale development has provided US chemical producers a double benefit as an energy source and as a key raw material to make plastics and other essential products, creating jobs and economic activity across the value chain,” Pryor added.

The project will employ about 10,000 construction workers, create 4,000 related jobs in nearby Houston communities and add 350 permanent positions at the Baytown complex, ExxonMobil said.

ExxonMobil has awarded contracts to Linde and Bechtel to build olefins recovery units at Baytown. Mitsui Engineering and Heurtey Petrochem will construct the new olefins furnaces.

At Mont Belvieu, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries will construct the two PE lines. Jacobs will oversee “enabling works and interconnections at both locations”, ExxonMobil said.

The followign table lists the cracker projects in the US.

Company C2 capacity Location Start-up
Chevron Phillips Chemical 1.5m tonnes Cedar Bayou, Texas 2017
ExxonMobil Chemical 1.5m tonnes Baytown, Texas 2017
Dow Chemical 1.5m tonnes Freeport, Texas 2017
Sasol 1.5m tonnes Lake Charles, Louisiana 2017
Formosa Plastics 1.0m tonnes Point Comfort, Texas Q1 2017
Formosa Plastics 1.2m tonnes Louisiana NA
Occidental Chemical/Mexichem 544,000 tonnes Ingleside, Texas 2017
Axiall/Lotte World-scale Louisiana 2018
Shell World-scale Monaca, Pennsylvania 2019-20
Odebrecht World-scale Wood County, W Virginia NA
Shin-Etsu 500,000 tonnes Lousiana NA
Williams/partner 1.5m tonnes Geismar, Louisiana NA 
INEOS 115,000 tonnes Chocolate Bayou, Texas 2014
Williams 273,000 tonnes Geismar, Louisiana Apr 2014
Westlake Chemical 82,000 tonnes Calvert City, Kentucky Q2 2014
LyondellBasell 363,000 tonnes La Porte, Texas mid-2014
Chevron Phillips Chemical 91,000 tonnes Sweeny. Texas 2014
Westlake Chemical 113,000 tonnes Lake Charles, Louisiana 2014
LyondellBasell 113,000 tonnes Channelview, Texas 2015
LyondellBasell 363,000 tonnes Corpus Christi, Texas Late 2015
Huntsman 19,300 tonnes Port Neches, Texas NA
BASF Fina Petrochemicals NA Port Arthur, Texas 2014
Source: Companies, ICIS analysis

By Stefan Baumgarten