LyondellBasell Plans Its Largest Investment Ever Near Houston
LyondellBasell has made the final investment decision to build what it says will be the world's largest propylene oxide (PO) and tertiary butyl alcohol (TBA) plant. The estimated $2.4 billion project, which will be located near Houston, represents LyondellBasell's single-largest capital investment to date, the company stated in a project announcement Friday.
"This world-scale project is a key part of our organic growth strategy which is designed to meet rising global demand for both urethanes and cleaner-burning oxyfuels while creating real, long-term value for our shareholders," LyondellBasell CEO Bob Patel said in the written statement. "Our investment in this plant combines the best of both worlds: our leading PO/TBA process technology with proximity to low-cost feedstocks, which gives LyondellBasell a competitive advantage in the global marketplace for these products."
LyondellBasell plans to develop the project at two sites. The company has proposed its Channelview Complex as the location for the PO/TBA plant, slated to produce an anticipated 1 billion pounds (470,000 metric tons) of PO and 2.2 billion pounds (1 million metric tons) of TBA annually. Bedding, furniture, carpeting, coatings, building materials and adhesives are products manufactured with PO. TBA produced at Channelview will be converted to ether-based oxyfuels – methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) and ethyl tertiary butyl ether (ETBE) – at an associated ethers unit proposed for LyondellBasell's Bayport Complex near Pasadena, Texas, the company stated.
According to LyondellBasell, the PO/TBA project's access to the Houston Ship Channel will facilitate exports of PO and derivative products to domestic and global customers and oxyfuels sales to Latin America and Asia. The company also said that some of the TBA will remain in the domestic market as high-purity isobutylene, which is used to manufacture tires and lubricants.
Front-end engineering design work has concluded, and the project has received the required environmental permits, LyondellBasell said. In addition, the company pointed out that site preparation is underway and construction should begin during the second half of 2018. Pending final site selection, contingent upon final approval of economic incentives by the State of Texas, the project could be completed in mid-2021, the company said.
LyondellBasell said it expects the PO/TBA project to create up to 2,500 construction jobs and approximately 160 permanent positions during operations.
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