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LyondellBasell to boost ethylene production at Texas Channelview

LyondellBasell concentrates investments in Texas, USA

The global chemical and plastics manufacturer LyondellBasell is considering an additional expansion of the ethylene production on its Channelview facility in Texas USA.

During the last twenty years, LyondellBasell has grown up pretty fast in Europe and North America mainly through acquisitions.

The accumulation of debts to finance the acquisitions and the 2008 crisis led LyondellBasell to apply for the Chapter 11 protection in US in 2009.

LyondellBasell_Channelview_Ethylene_Expansion_Project_MapAfter cleaning its balance sheet and optimizing its diversified assets portfolio, LyondellBasell was well positioned to benefit from the shale gas development in the US to restore a competitive model of petrochemical activities.

In this new context, LyondellBasell opted for organic growth in investing in series of debottlenecking projects in its existing chemical complexes in Channelview, Corpus Christi and La Porte, all in Texas USA.

In a period when engineering and contracting resources are all absorb by the multiplication of projects in North America, LyondellBasell strategy, in proceeding by mid-sized investments, enable an implementation on fast track of these expansions.

In Corpus Christi, LyondellBasell started up in 2013 in joint venture with TexStar a new natural gas liquids (NGL) plant in order to increase its supply capacities.

From this first step, LyondellBasell is now working on a new ethylene cracker to add 360,000 tonnes per year (t/y) capacity expected to run into commercial operations in 2016.

In parallel, LyondellBasell is currently completing in La Porte the 100,000 t/y polyethylene debottlenecking project and the 400,000 t/y ethylene cracker expansion.

New LyondellBasell Channelview Ethylene Expansion

Regarding Channelview, LyondellBasell restarted its 780,000 t/y methanol that was idled since 2004.

This methanol facility is then supplying LyondellBasell acetic acid and methy terbutyl ether (MTBE) units on the same site in Channelview.

LyondellBasell_Channelview_Ethylene_Expansion_ProjectAs part of the debottlenecking program, LyondellBasell initiated the capacity increase of Channelview ethylene cracker by 113,000 t/y.

To support this additional capacity, LyondellBasell is building two cracking furnaces in Channelview.

LyondellBasell is planning to turn these new Channelview ethylene crackers by 2015.

Since this small steps strategy of investment is proving to deliver the projects on time and at budgeted costs, LyondellBasell is encouraged to continue in the same way as long as the domestic demand and the existing sites are supporting these series of capacity increases.

Taking the advantage of the modular design of these ethylene crackers, LyondellBasell has decided to repeat the successful experience and announced a new expansion at the Channelview ethylene plant.

With this new investment, LyondellBasell is planning to increase capacity by 250,000 t/y of ethylene  in Channelview.

As this project will be executed in continuation of the on going cracker furnaces project, LyondellBasell expect this new Channelview Ethylene Expansion project to be in operation by 2017.

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