Price and market trends: Formosa gets EPA permits for new cracker, LDPE, PDH plants in Texas

15 August 2014 10:37 Source:ICIS Chemical Business

Formosa received greenhouse gas (GHG) permits from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to build an ethane cracker, a propane dehydrogenation (PDH) unit and a low density polyethylene (LDPE) unit at its facility in Point Comfort, Texas, a spokesman confirmed on 6 August.

The project is awaiting Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) permits, but Formosa hopes to have start-up in 2017, spokesman Steve Rice said.

The ethane cracker will have an ethylene capacity of 1.75m tons/year (1.59m tonnes/year), and the PDH plant will have a propylene capacity of 725,000 tons/year, according to the EPA and the olefins GHG permit issued on 5 August.The LDPE unit will have a capacity of 625,500 tons/year and be able to produce resin at different grades, including products that use vinyl acetate as a co-monomer, according to the LDPE GHG permit.

In 2012, Formosa Plastics said that the LDPE unit will have a capacity of 300,000 tonnes/year.

Rice would not comment about the higher capacity listed in the permit.

Formosa also received a third permit to add two gas-fired turbines to the facility with a capacity to generate 80 megawatts of electrical power.

The company is among several expanding capacity in the US.

By Jessie Waldheim