Williams commissions, wraps Geismar olefins plant expansion

Williams Partners LP, Tulsa, has now commissioned and started production of ethylene for sale from its newly rebuilt and expanded Geismar, La., olefins plant following a series of setbacks occurring in the wake of a June 2013 explosion at the site.

Williams Partners LP, Tulsa, has now commissioned and started production of ethylene for sale from its newly rebuilt and expanded Geismar, La., olefins plant following a series of setbacks occurring in the wake of a June 2013 explosion at the site (OGJ Online, June 13, 2013).

The commissioning effort alongside the beginning of ethylene production for sale from the site officially completes the rebuild and expansion project at Geismar, Williams Partners said.

“This is a significant milestone achievement in our effort to restore reliable operations at our plant for the benefit of our customers, employees, contractors, and the community,” said John Dearborn, Williams Partners’ senior vice-president of NGL and petrochemical services.

With the plant commissioned, the company will now direct its efforts to reaching full production rates on the base plant, and shortly thereafter, ramping up Geismar to its fully expanded ethylene production capacity of 1.95 billion lb/year, Dearborn said.

The company did not disclose current rates of ethylene production at the plant.

Start-up of the revamped and rebuilt Geismar plant faced a string of delays related to the implementation of about $20 million in additional safety and maintenance upgrades folded into the project as the company redoubled efforts to safeguard operations after the June 2013 explosion, which killed two workers (OGJ Online, Feb. 3, 2015).

Prior to the 600 million-lb/year expansion project, the Geismar plant had an ethylene production capacity of 1.35 billion lb/year.

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