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South Africa's Sasol reaches final decision on US ethane investment

by ChemOrbis Editorial Team - content@chemorbis.com
  • 28/10/2014 (14:52)
According to a statement dated October 28 on the company’s website, South Africa’s Sasol announced that they have reached a final investment decision on an $8.1 billion ethane cracker and derivatives complex in Lake Charles, Louisiana by which the company will almost triple their chemical output in the United States.

With the project, the company aims to benefit from ethane, a low-cost feedstock as a result of the shale gas boom in the Americas. This project will enable Sasol to raise its position in a growing global chemicals market.

The new ethane cracker that will produce 1.5 million tons/year of ethylene is expected to be online in early 2018. The company is planning to produce around 1.98 billion lbs/year of PE, spread evenly between LDPE and LLDPE, and approximately 660 million lbs/year of ethylene oxide along with other high-margin specialty chemicals. The company plans to sell some of the PE output into the US domestic market, while it also targets to export especially to Europe, Southeast Asia and South America. The company said the derivative units could come online by late 2017. The company noted that it already has a 430,000 lbs/year ethylene unit at Lake Charles that can supply feedstock for the units until the new cracker is ready. Sasol also plans an additional $800 million investment in infrastructure and utility improvements and land acquisition at the site.

Sasol authorized Fluor Technip Integrated as the primary engineering, procurement, and construction management contractor for the project.
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