Sasol lets contract for Louisiana petrochemicals plant

South Africa’s Sasol Ltd. has let a contract to GE Oil & Gas, Florence, Italy, to provide the main-compression trains required for a low-density polyethylene (LDPE) plant at its proposed integrated ethane cracker and downstream derivatives complex to be located adjacent to the company’s existing operations near Lake Charles in Westlake, La. (OGJ Online, Dec. 3, 2012).

GE will supply main-compression and power-generation trains consisting of primary-purge and hyper-compression services for a 20-cyclinder, two-stage, LDPE hyper-compressor that will have discharge pressures of 45,000 psi and be situated in the center of the new plant, GE said in a Feb. 2 release.

The project equipment, which GE will design and build in Florence, is scheduled for shipment to the Lake Charles site during first-half 2016, according to the service provider.

A value of the contract was not disclosed.

In December 2014, Sasol let a contract to Toyo Engineering Korea Ltd. (TEK), a subsidiary of Toyo Engineering Corp., to provide detailed engineering, procurement, module fabrication, and construction support services for the planned 450,000-tonne/year (tpy) linear LDPE plant to be included at Westlake complex (OGJ Online, Dec. 4, 2014).

In addition to the LDPE plant, the $8.9 billion petrochemical complex will include a grassroots ethane cracker capable of producing 1.5 million tpy of ethylene, as well as several other chemical manufacturing plants (OGJ Online, Dec. 23, 2014).

With site preparation now under way, the new complex currently is on schedule to be commissioned in 2018.

While construction of the planned ethane cracker and derivatives complex remains ongoing, Sasol recently delayed final investment decision on a proposed large-scale, gas-to-liquids plant that would be located adjacent to the Westlake complex as part of a company-wide plan to conserve cash in response to lower international oil prices (OGJ Online, Jan. 28, 2015).

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