Williams targets December start for Geismar ethylene sales

Williams Partners LP is in the final stages of commissioning and plans to begin ethylene sales from its newly expanded Geismar, La., olefins plant after a series of delays following a 2013 explosion at the site (OGJ Online, June 13, 2013).

Ethylene production sales from Geismar, which previously were scheduled to start in October, are slated to begin this month, the company said (OGJ Online, Aug. 5, 2014).

The delayed start-up stems from ongoing activities related to safety-related upgrades at the plant, said John Dearborn, Williams Partners’ senior vice-president of NGL and petrochemical services.

“Some of these commissioning activities have taken longer than originally planned, but as we have stated throughout this process, safety is our No. 1 priority,” Dearborn said.

Additional safety modifications made during the plant’s expansion and rebuild increased capital spending for the project by $20 million, Williams Partners said in August.

In late October, the company confirmed that commissioning and start-up processes were under way at Geismar, but operations personnel still were directing dry-out activities at the plant (OGJ Online, Oct. 29, 2014).

The 600 million-lb/year Geismar expansion project was designed to boost the plant’s ethylene production capacity to 1.95 billion lb/year from 1.35 billion lb/year, with Williams Partners’ share of the total capacity amounting to about 1.7 billion lb/year.

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