Total lets contract for proposed Texas steam cracker

Total Petrochemicals & Refining USA Inc., a subsidiary of Total SA, has let a contract to CB&I, Houston, to provide front-end engineering and design (FEED) services and technology licensing for its previously announced proposal to build a steam cracker to be tied in with its existing operations at the US Gulf Coast (OGJ Online, May 23, 2013).

In addition to FEED services for the planned 1 million tonne/year ethane steam cracker, which is to be built near Total’s current production platform in Port Arthur, Tex., CB&I will deliver process licensing for its latest proprietary ethylene production technology, including  seven highly selective Short Residence Time (SRT) cracking heaters, the service provider said.

A value of the contract was not disclosed.

The contract award follows a timeline for the FEED phase of the project Total disclosed to OGJ in June (OGJ Online, June 4, 2015).

The proposed steam cracker, which will cover the company’s ethylene needs for its US derivatives business, likely is to take place sometime in late 2019, Total said previously.

The steam cracker would add a second ethylene production plant to Total’s Port Arthur operations alongside the more than 1 million-tpy existing cracker operated by BASF Total Petrochemicals LCC (BTP), a joint venture of BASF Corp. (60%) and Total Petrochemicals & Refining USA (40%) (OGJ Online, Mar. 24, 2014).

A final investment decision on the planned Port Arthur cracker, which will be integrated with the French operator’s 174,000-b/d Port Arthur refinery and BTP plant, is due in 2016.

The grassroots cracker project at Port Arthur follows Total’s plan to take advantage of lower-cost feedstock (including ethane, propane, and butane) supplies that have resulted from increased US shale production.

Contact Robert Brelsford at

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