LyondellBasell announced it is on schedule with projects to increase ethylene capacity at the US Gulf Coast.
The company’s methanol plant at Channelview, Tex., was placed into service in fourth-quarter 2013 to take advantage of low-cost natural gas from shale formations, according to a Jan. 2 release.
The unit had been out of service since 2004 due to the rising cost of natural gas, the key feedstock for methanol production, the company said.
“The methanol plant restart is the first in a series of US Gulf Coast projects by LyondellBasell to take advantage of the natural gas price advantage that we enjoy from shale gas,” said Patrick Quarles, senior vice-president for LyondellBasell’s intermediates and derivatives division.
The methanol plant project and other significant debottleneck projects will bring new capacity into the company’s system earlier and at lower costs than constructing entirely new facilities, Quarles added.
Other LyondellBasell growth projects include expansions of ethylene capacity at La Porte, Channelview, and Corpus Christi, Tex., that will add 1.8 billion lb/year to the company’s capacity (OGJ Online, July 1, 2013).
In March 2013, LyondellBasell said that, starting in 2014, it will expand its Corpus Christi, Tex., cracker by about 363,000 tonnes/year with start-up targeted for 2015.
Construction associated with the La Porte, Tex., expansion was to begin in March 2013, adding about 363,000 tpy upon completion in 2014.
A third project in Channelview, Tex., will add about 113,000 tpy of ethylene in 2015, the company said.
The company also plans an expansion of a polyethylene facility in Matagorda County, Tex., according to the Jan. 2 release.