Bayport Polymers LLC (Baystar)—a 50-50 joint venture of OMV AG subsidiary Borealis AG and TotalEnergies SE—has commissioned a new polyethylene unit to more than double production capacity at the operator’s existing Bayport PE site in Pasadena, Tex.
Known as Bay 3, the new 625,000-tonne/year (tpy) PE unit joins the site’s two legacy production PE units with a combined production of 400,000 tpy to increase overall PE output at the site to more than 1 million tpy, TotalEnergies and OMV said in separate Oct. 3 releases.
Equipped with Borealis’ proprietary Borstar PE process technology, the newly commissioned Bay 3 PE unit receives its ethylene feedstock from the JV’s nearly $2-billion, 1-million tpy ethane steam cracker started up in July 2022 at TotalEnergies Petrochemical & Refining USA’s nearby 200,000-b/d integrated refining complex in Port Arthur, Tex. (OGJ Online, July 21, 2022).
Commissioning of the $1.4-billion Bay 3 PE unit completes the partners’ integrated petrochemicals venture—including the expanded Bayport PE site and the Port Arthur ethane cracker—fulfilling strategic objectives of both companies, according to OMV and TotalEnergies.
“The arrival of Borealis’ proprietary Borstar technology in North America by way of Baystar marks, in line with our owners’ strategies, a crucial step for us in becoming a global leader in advanced and sustainable chemicals and material solutions,” said Thomas Gangl, Borealis’ chief executive.
Alongside establishing Baystar as a fully integrated US petrochemical operator, startup of the Bay 3 unit also advances TotalEnergies’ ambition to grow its US operations, said Bernard Pinatel, TotalEnergies’ president of refining and chemicals.
First announced in 2018, the Bayport Polymers JV was formed to help meet growing global demand for PE by taking advantage of abundant, competitively priced US ethane feedstock supplies and easy export access to markets abroad, as well as support the partners’ strategies to further integrate and expand their respective businesses in the US (OGJ Online, Sept. 25, 2018).