US DowDuPont starts up new Texas cracker, PE plant

21 September 2017 14:47 Source:ICIS News


DowDuPont started up its new integrated ethylene and polyethylene (PE) production facility in Freeport, Texas. Source: DowDuPont.

HOUSTON (ICIS)--DowDuPont Materials Science, the business division of DowDuPont to be named Dow, on Thursday announced the start-up of its new integrated world-scale ethylene production facility and its new ELITE enhanced polyethylene (PE) production facility, both in Freeport, Texas.

The units will continue to ramp up through the third quarter and are expected to reach full rates in the fourth quarter of 2017.

The ethylene production facility has an initial nameplate capacity of 1.5m tonnes/year. As part of a next wave of investment, capacity will be expanded to 2m tonnes/year, "making it the world’s largest ethylene facility", the company said.

The PE unit has a capacity of 400,000 tonnes/year. It is the first of four new derivative units at Dow’s manufacturing sites in Texas and Louisiana.

"These facilities are an integral part of Dow’s investments on the US Gulf Coast to meet increasing consumer-led demand in our core market verticals of packaging, infrastructure and consumer care, and will enable our next level of earnings and cash flow growth," said Andrew Liveris, executive chairman of DowDuPont.

Dow’s remaining derivative assets to come online in the US Gulf Coast include a new specialty low density polyethylene, with a capacity of 350,000 tonnes/year, expected to start up later this year; a "next generation" NORDEL metallocene ethylene-propylene-diene monomer (EPDM) with a capacity of 200,000 tonnes/year, expected to start up in early 2018; a bi-modal gas phase de-bottleneck with a capacity of 125,000 tonnes/year, to follow later in 2018; and a high melt index specialty and conventional polyolefin elastomers with a 320,000 tonnes/year, expected to come online in late 2018, the company said.

By Stefan Baumgarten