Sasol advances US ethylene projects

Sasol Ltd. said it has commissioned the world’s first commercial ethylene tetramerization unit at its Lake Charles, La., chemical complex (OGJ Online, Sept. 13, 2011).

Entered into operation in February, the project, which uses Sasol-developed technology to convert ethylene to higher-value comonomers 1-octene and 1-hexene, currently is in start-up, with first product already produced, the company said.

Sasol expects the 100,000-tonne/year tetramerization plant to be fully operational by midyear.

Sasol also said it continues to progress with the front-end engineering and design phase of an integrated ethane cracker and downstream derivatives complex and adjacent GTL plant in Westlake, La. (OGJ Online, Nov. 25, 2013; Dec. 3, 2012).

The final investment decision for the Westlake ethane cracker and downstream derivatives project is anticipated by yearend, with FID for the GTL plant expected to follow subsequently within 18-24 months, Sasol said.

FEED phase also remains ongoing for a planned 470,000-tpy high-density polyethylene (HDPE) plant jointly under development with Ineos, according to Sasol, which said it expects FID on the project by yearend.

While Sasol previously confirmed in a July 24, 2013, release that the HDPE plant will be located in the US to complement production from the company’s ethane cracker and derivatives project in southwest Louisiana, a final site decision has yet to be disclosed.

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