Sasol starts up second unit at Louisiana petchem complex

Sasol has commissioned the second of seven production units scheduled to come online as part of its long-planned Lake Charles Chemicals Project, an integrated ethane cracker and downstream derivatives complex under construction in Westlake, La., near Lake Charles. As of May 31, both portions of the complex’s combined ethylene oxide-ethylene glycol are in operation.

Sasol Ltd. has commissioned the second of seven production units scheduled to come online as part of its long-planned Lake Charles Chemicals Project (LCCP), an integrated ethane cracker and downstream derivatives complex under construction in Westlake, La., near Lake Charles (OGJ Online, June 7, 2016).

As of May 31, both portions of the complex’s combined ethylene oxide-ethylene glycol (EO-EG) are in operation, Sasol said.

Start-up of the EO-EG plant follows commissioning of the complex’s first production unit—the linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE) unit—earlier this year (OGJ Online, Feb. 14, 2019).

Announcement of the newly commissioned EO-EG plant comes in the wake of Sasol’s May 22 update on LCCP to investors, in which the company confirmed a marked increase in projected total cost of the project to $12.6-12.9 billion from a previous $11.6-11.8 billion as of February.

By the end of March, construction progress stood at 89%, with overall project completion at 96% and a capital expenditure amounting to $11.4 billion, the operator said.

Currently, Sasol said it expects the timeline for LCCP’s remaining units to achieve beneficial operation to be as follows:

• Ethane cracker: July.

• LDPE unit: August.

• Zeigler alcohols unit: November.

• Guerbet alcohols unit: February 2020.

• Ethoxylation unit: December.

Alongside its 1.5 million-tonne/year ethane cracker, LCCP will include six downstream chemical plants, including:

• Two large polymers plants capable of produced a combined 900,000 tpy of low-density (LDPE) and LLDPE.

• A 300,000-tpy EO-EG plant.

• A 100,000-tpy exthoxylation unit.

• A 173,000-tpy Ziegler alcohols plant, which will include a 30,000-tpy Guerbet alcohols unit and 30,000-tpy alumina unit.

Contact Robert Brelsford at rbrelsford@ogjonline.com.

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