LyondellBasell selects Texas as location for HDPE plant


Chemical firm LyondellBasell has selected its La Porte, Texas, manufacturing complex as the site for a new High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) plant, after having announced the project in August http://plasticsandrubberasia.com/aug2016/company1.html

It will be the first commercial plant to employ its new proprietary Hyperzone PE technology and will have capacity of 500,000 tonnes/year. With an investment of US$700 million, the project is expected to create up to 1,000 jobs at the peak of construction and as many as 75 full time positions. Construction is scheduled to begin in early 2017 with start-up planned for 2019; and is part of a US$4 billion expansion plan of the company until 2020.

"This project represents the next generation of technology," said Bob Patel, LyondellBasell CEO/Chairman of the Management Board. "This location is ideal for this facility because of the feedstock advantage we enjoy, the ability to ship product around the world and, most importantly, the outstanding workforce that the Gulf Coast has to offer."

Located on the south shore of the Houston Ship Channel, LyondellBasell's La Porte complex spans 540 acres and produces ethylene, propylene, Linear Low-Density Polyethylene (LLDPE) and Low-Density Polyethylene (LDPE).

The La Porte complex is also the primary location for LyondellBasell's Acetyls business with an integrated chain of manufacturing units producing methanol, acetic acid and vinyl acetate monomer (VAM). VAM is used in household latex paint, adhesives, food packaging, wire and cable coatings and automotive safety glass.

LyondellBasell currently produces a total of 3.5 million tonnes/year of HDPE, including capacity of its joint venture facilities. The company is a leading worldwide producer of all forms of PE with a capacity of 6 million metric tonnes/year. LyondellBasell is a global leader in the development and licensing of polyolefin processes and related catalysts and plans to make the Hyperzone PE technology available for licensing in the future. The company has over 250 polypropylene and polyethylene lines licensed worldwide.

The Hyperzone PE project is part of LyondellBasell's ongoing growth plan. Recently, the company completed work on ethylene expansion projects at the La Porte and Channelview sites in Texas. A third ethylene expansion project is currently underway in Corpus Christi, Texas. Additionally, development of a world scale propylene oxide and tertiary butyl alcohol (PO/TBA) plant at the company's Channelview site is progressing.

Hyperzone technology was developed at LyondellBasell's European R&D centres located in Frankfurt, Germany, and Ferrara, Italy.

LyondellBasell is among several petrochemical companies growing quickly in the Houston area to take advantage of cheap and abundant feedstocks like natural gas from Texas shale. In less than a decade, more than 100 petrochemical projects worth US$50 billion are expected to be completed in Texas, says trade organisation American Chemistry Council, a trade group. At the same time, companies like ExxonMobil, Dow Chemical and Chevron Phillips have all launched ambitious and costly petrochemical expansions in Houston, says a report in the Houston Chronicle.

ExxonMobil and Sabic are also studying the feasibility of a joint venture project on the Gulf Coast http://plasticsandrubberasia.com/july2016/company9.html


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