Chevron Phillips Chemical Co. LP (CPC) reported the commissioning and start-up of what the company is calling the world’s largest on-purpose 1-hexene plant, situated in CPC’s Cedar Bayou chemical complex in Baytown, Tex. (OGJ Online, Apr. 2, 2012).
The new unit has the capacity to produce 250,000 tonnes/year of comonomer-grade 1-hexene from ethylene for use in the production of polyethylene.
“Our investment to expand 1-hexene production is due in part to Texas’ growth as a major international hub for the petrochemical industry and the increased supply of competitive feedstocks in the US from the development of shale resources,” said Pete Cella, CPC chief executive officer.
“Only 5 years ago, the expectation was that the US would become a significant net importer of ethylene derivatives,” Cella said, adding, “Now the US is expecting to become a major exporter of ethylene derivatives, including 1-hexene, able to compete with any producing region in the world.”
On-purpose 1-hexene is already used at Qatar Chemical Co. Ltd.’s (Q-Chem) facility in Mesaieed, Qatar, and the Saudi Polymers Co. plant in Al Jubail, Saudi Arabia. Both facilities are joint ventures of Chevron Phillips wholly owned subsidiaries.