LyondellBasell plans third-quarter startup for Corpus Christi ethylene expansion

LyondellBasell has entered the final phase of construction on an 800 million-lb/year ethylene expansion project currently under way at its complex in Corpus Christi, Tex. (OGJ Online, July 1, 2013).

Final construction work on the major expansion project will occur over the next few months. Once completed, the expansion will increase ethylene capacity at the Corpus Christi plant by 50% from its current production.

The Corpus Christi expansion comes as part of a multiyear growth program the company launched in 2012 that focuses on debottlenecks and cost-effective expansions at its existing plants, all of which were benefitting from rising North American shale gas production.

Alongside the expansion at Corpus Christi, the program also included ethylene expansion projects at LyondellBasell’s La Porte, Tex., and Channelview, Tex., plants (OGJ Online, May 2, 2014).

LyondellBasell previously completed the 800 million lb/year LaPorte (OGJ Online, July 28, 2014) and 250 million-lb/year Channelview expansions in 2014 and 2015, respectively, the company confirmed in its latest annual report.

In addition to its 2016 planned investment of $1.9 billion for a maintenance and growth program aimed at further increasing reliability, efficiency, and production at its existing manufacturing sites, LyondellBasell said it also continues to evaluate a total investment of about $3-4 billion over the next 5 years on other growth projects that, once concluded, could to add another $800-900 million to its annual EBITDA.

In a Nov. 19, 2015, release, the company also confirmed it is moving forward with plans to build the world’s largest propylene oxide (PO) and tertiary butyl alcohol (TBA) plant at its Channelview complex.

With front-end engineering and design work on the project now under way, the PO-TBA plant—which would produce about 1 billion lb/year of PO and 29,000 b/d of oxyfuels—is scheduled for startup in 2020, the company said in June 3 presentation to investors.

Contact Robert Brelsford at

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