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BP to close linear alpha olefin plant

By OGJ editors

HOUSTON, Dec. 17 -- BP said Dec. 16 that it would close its linear alpha olefin (LAO) production facility in Pasadena, Tex., by yearend 2005, reducing the firm's global LAO capacity by 500,000 tonnes/year.

BP said it would continue to produce LAOs at its other two facilities in Alberta, Canada, and Feluy, Belgium.

The closure is "the result of an extensive review of the company's global [LAO] business and prospects for the LAO industry," a company executive said.

"The LAO industry has faced a very difficult environment for the past few years, with overcapacity, slow demand growth, and high feedstock and energy costs. The Pasadena site is our oldest production site, and the closure of these older assets will allow our LAO business to focus resources on keeping our two newer sites at Feluy and Joffre competitive," he said.

BP's worldwide production capacity grew to 1.05 million tonnes/year with the start-up of the Joffre plant in 2001. Expansions by BP and other producers during the last several years have added over 450,000 tonnes/year of capacity, resulting in overcapacity, BP said.

BP's Pasadena plant is the oldest of its three operating LAO plants. In 2002 BP ceased production of linear alcohols at the facility.

After the restructuring, BP will have an LAO production capability of 300,000 tonnes/year at Feluy and 250,000 tonnes/year at the Joffre plant.

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