JV lets contracts for Louisiana ethane project

LACC LLC, a joint venture of Axiall Corp. and South Korea’s Lotte Chemical Corp., has let a contract to CB&I, Houston, to provide additional detailed engineering and early procurement services for a proposed 1 million-tonne/year LACC ethane cracker project to be built in Lake Charles, La. (OGJ Online, Feb. 11, 2014).

The new scope of work under this latest early-works contract follows a previous contract let to CB&I for supply of proprietary ethylene technology and front-end engineering design services to LACC for the project, the service provider said.

While LACC continues to evaluate construction of the project, should it proceed, the proposed ethylene cracker will use CB&I’s latest ethylene technology, including its highly selective SRT cracking heaters as well as its recovery-section design, which features low-pressure separation and mixed refrigeration, CB&I said.

CB&I did not disclose values for either contract.

Axiall and Lotte formed the LACC JV in late June to design, build, and operate the planned cracker, for which FEED already had been completed (OGJ Online, June 18, 2014).

According to their agreement, Axiall will contribute a maximum capital investment of $225 million between 2015 and 2019 towards engineering, procurement, and construction phases of the cracker, with Lotte, as majority owner, to cover remaining construction costs.

With a final investment decision on the project due by yearend, and pending other final approvals, the ethylene plant could begin commercial operation in late 2018 or early 2019, Axiall said.

Upon announcing the project in late 2013, Axiall estimated the grassroots plant would require a total investment of about $3 billion (OGJ Online, Dec. 20, 2013).

Contact Robert Brelsford at rbrelsford@ogjonline.com.

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