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New wave of cracker capacity additions will be seen in US by next year

  • 01/11/2016 (13:59)
Market sources report that major petrochemical producers are set to start up their new crackers in the US next year, thereby benefiting from cost advantages of ethane as feedstock.

Chevron Phillips Chemical Company is preparing for the startup of its $6 billion petrochemical projects on the Gulf Coast in the second half of 2017. The company reportedly completed around 85% of the project. The project houses a 1.5 million tons/year ethane cracker in Baytown, Texas and two PE units Old Ocean, Texas each with a production capacity of 500,000 tons/year. The PE units are expected to start up ahead of the cracker.

ExxonMobil is also working to complete a 1.5 million tons/year ethane-fed steam cracker at its complex in Baytown, Texas. The cracker is expected to be commissioned by the second half of 2017.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia’s SABIC is considering forming a petrochemical joint venture with an affiliate of US’ ExxonMobil. The project reportedly will be on the United States’ Gulf Coast, in Texas or Louisiana, and will house an ethylene production facility which will provide feedstock to other units to produce ethylene derivatives. However, the parties are still in talks and have not reached a final decision for the project yet.

Dow Chemical’s new steam cracker in Freeport, Texas is expected to be launched by mid-2017. The cracker will have a production capacity of 1.5 million tons/year. The company is also conducting an expansion project at its Louisiana Operations complex. Once completed, 250,000 tons/year of new capacity will be added to the cracker’s current production capacity of 1.2 million tons/year.

Mexico’s Mexichem is another petrochemical producer that is planning to begin test production at its new joint venture steam cracker with OxyChem in Ingleside, Texas in the first quarter of 2017 and plans to operate the cracker at full capacity by the end of next year. The cracker is designed to be a fully integrated production unit. The cracker will have five ethane cracking furnaces with an ethylene production capacity of around 544,000 tons/year.

Finally, Formosa Plastics’ new ethane-based cracker in Texas with a proposed production capacity of around 1.75 million tons/year is expected to come online by the end of next year.

You can visit ChemOrbis PE Production News in order to track capacity changes around the world at a glance and keep on top of new capacity additions.
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