Delay halts start-up of La Porte ethylene expansion

LyondellBasell has pushed back the start-up of expanded production at its ethylene plant in La Porte, Tex., until later this year (OGJ Online, July 1, 2013).

The company expects to begin production from its 800 million lb/year La Porte ethylene during this year’s third quarter, LyondellBasell said.

The revised timeline for the newly expanded plant project, which was scheduled to begin production this summer (OGJ Online, May 2, 2014), resulted from a delay in the completion of extensive scheduled maintenance at the La Porte plant during the second quarter, the company said.

A mechanical issue with a compressor at the plant was partially to blame for the extended turnaround at La Porte, according to LyondellBassel.

While the company said its third-quarter earnings would be negatively impacted by the delayed start-up at La Porte, it did not disclose a firm date for when production at the plant would begin.

The La Porte project is the first of three ethylene expansions LyondellBassel has under way, which include projects at its plants in Channelview and Corpus Christi, Tex., all of which are benefitting from rising North American shale gas production (OGJ Online, May 2, 2014).

LyondellBasell previously said it expects construction at the Corpus Christi plant to begin during this year’s second half for a planned start-up in late 2015, while expanded production from the Channelview plant is scheduled for commissioning in 2015.

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