Total opens new plant at Bayport operations

Total SA has commissioned a $100-million hydro de-aromatization (HDA) plant at its petrochemical manufacturing site in Bayport, Tex., that will produce a range of 40 different high-purity special fluids for use in a variety of industrial applications for US and international customers.

Entered into operation on Feb. 14, the unit currently is in the process of ramping up to its designed production capacity of 250,000 tonnes/year, Total officials said at the plant’s official opening ceremony on Mar. 7.

Modeled on Total’s existing HDA plant in France, the Bayport HDA plant uses a catalytic reaction process that, when combined with high pressure and distillation, enables production of odorless, colorless, low-aromatic high-purity fluids customized to meet customer needs across a wide spectrum of industries, including pharmaceuticals, crop protection, water treatment, printing inks, paints and coatings, and cosmetics.

The Bayport HDA plant also will produce synthetic biodegradable fluids for onshore and offshore drilling in accord with Total’s commitment to using clean drilling fluids for the company’s exploration and production operations, said Phillippe Boisseau, Total executive committee member and president of the company’s marketing and services division.

About 85% of the plant’s special fluids production will be sold to US buyers, while the remaining 15% is to be exported to international customers to meet rising global demand for cleaner, greener products, Boisseau said.

Located adjacent to Total Petrochemicals & Refining USA Inc.’s 408,000-tpy Bayport high-density polyethylene plant on the same site, the new HDA unit receives feedstock via pipeline from Total’s nearby 225,500 b/d Port Arthur refinery, as well as third-party suppliers.

Contact Robert Brelsford at

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