LyondellBasell Industries NV has decided to build its recently approved project for a US Gulf Coast high-density polyethylene (HDPE) plant at the company’s La Porte, Tex., manufacturing complex along on the south shore of the Houston Ship Channel (OGJ Online, July 29, 2016).
The decision to site the project at its La Porte operations results from its ideal location in terms of feedstock advantage, existing infrastructure for product exports, and its exceptional US Gulf Coast workforce, said Bob Patel, LyondellBasell’s chief executive.
In addition to producing ethylene, propylene, linear low-density polyethylene, and low-density polyethylene, the La Porte complex also serves as the company’s primary location for its acetyls business, including an integrated chain of manufacturing units that produce methanol, acetic acid, and vinyl acetate monomer.
With construction scheduled to begin in early 2017, startup of the HDPE plant remains on track for 2019, LyondellBasell said.
First announced in July, the project will include a 1.1 billion-lb/year (500,000-tonne/year) HDPE plant that will be the first ever to use LyondellBasell’s proprietary Hyperzone PE technology, a cascade-gas phase process based on the company’s existing Multizone circulating-reactor technology, the operator said.
Part of LyondellBasell’s long-term strategy to take advantage of increased North American shale gas production, the HDPE project follows a series of completed and ongoing projects to expand its chemical business, including ethylene expansions of 800 million lb/year and 250 million lb/year at its LaPorte and Channelview, Tex., plants, respectively, as well as an 800 million-lb/year expansion currently under way at its Corpus Christi, Tex., complex (OGJ Online, July 28, 2014; May 2, 2014; July 1, 2013).
LyondellBasell’s plan to build the world’s largest propylene oxide and tertiary butyl alcohol plant at its Channelview complex for startup in 2020 also continues to progress, the company said.
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