OxyChem receives final GHG permit for Texas ethylene cracker

Occidental Chemical Corp. (OxyChem) has received the final greenhouse gas (GHG) prevention of significant deterioration (PSD) construction permits from the US Environmental Protection Agency for a 1.2-billion lb/year ethylene cracker to be built in Ingleside, Tex.

The project, a 50-50 joint venture with Mexichem SAB de CV, will use cracking furnaces equipped with selective catalytic reduction technology to control emissions of nitrogen oxides. Almost all of the ethylene produced will be used onsite in the manufacture of vinyl chloride monomer.

EPA in June 2010 finalized national GHG regulations specifying that beginning on Jan. 2, 2011, projects that increase GHG emissions substantially would require an air permit. The move was met with backlash from the industry (OGJ Online, Mar. 4, 2011).

Texas is working to replace a federal implementation plan with its own state program that will remove the EPA’s involvement. The agency in 2010 disapproved Texas’ clean air permitting program and said it would begin to issue GHG permits in the state (OGJ Online, Dec. 27, 2010).

EPA said it has finalized 40 GHG permits in Texas, proposed an additional 10 permits, and has more than 22 additional GHG permit applications under review and permit development in the state.

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