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Sasol makes final decision in US Lake Charles ethane cracker

Sasol Louisiana complex triples US chemical production

2B1st_Project_Smart_Explorer_Sales_Pursuit_ToolThe South Africa-based refining and petrochemical company Sasol Limited (Sasol) made the final investment decision for the construction of its world-scale ethane cracker and derivatives complex as the expansion of its existing facilities in Lakes Charles, Louisiana, in USA.

On very early days, Sasol realized the opportunity of the shale gas to change scale in its US foot print.

Experienced in developing large and complex projects, Sasol selected its existing Lake Charles site to consider a major expansion with the addition of a gas-to liquid (GTL) plant, an ethane cracker and olefins downstream production units.

Sasol_Louisiana_Lake-Charles_Ethane_Project_MapLouisiana benefits from a large network of transportation pipelines to allow a significant expansion in Lake Charles at minimum extra costs due to the existing infrastructures.

In 2012, Sasol initiated the feasibility study and then the front end engineering and design (FEED) of this Lake Charles new complex.

In respect with the low gas prices in USA, the only commercial viability for such projects is to integrate them in a common development in order to maximize the added value along the hydrocarbon transformation chain.

Anyway because of the size of the project, Sasol will proceed in phases, with the ethane cracker and the derivatives complex to go first, then the GTL plant in a second phase.

The land acquisition and the site accommodation are planned to host not only the decided projects, but also further expansion to come on next decades.

Requiring more than $8 billion capital expenditure, Lake Charles Ethane Cracker and Olefins complex will triple Sasol petrochemical production in the USA.

Sasol Lake Charles cracker to require eight furnaces

After FEED work completion, Sasol approved the final design of its Louisiana Ethane Cracker and Derivatives project that should include:

Sasol_Louisiana_Lake-Charles_Ethane_Cracker_Projects Ethane Cracker

 – Low density polyethylene (LDPE) unit

 – Linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) unit

 – High density polyethylene (HDPE) unit

 – Ethylene oxide (EO)

 – Monoethylene glycol (MEG) unit

Sasol Lake Charles ethylene cracker is designed for 1.5 million tonnes per year (T/Y) capacity.

Among the largest in the world, it will require the construction of eight furnaces for the ethylene cracking.

In addition to this petrochemical production units, Sasol will invest $800 million capital expenditure into the offsites and utilities expansions.

In making the final investment decision at the end of 2014, Sasol is planning to start the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) on early 2015 in targeting the first commercial operations of its Louisiana Lake Charles Ethane Cracker and Derivatives Complex by 2018.

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