The board of directors for US-based TPC Group has approved capital for the next phase of engineering to produce on-purpose butadiene and expand production capacity to meet market demand, the company said on Monday.
This approval follows the successful completion of the project's preliminary engineering study to produce butadiene from a variety of sources.
The US shale gas revolution offers an abundance of natural gas liquids for feedstocks to produce butadiene, according to the company. It has also had an impact on by-product butadiene production, creating a shortage of butadiene to meet customer needs.
TPC Group anticipates that its engineering design optimization will be complete by the end of the third quarter of 2013.
"TPC Group is committed to maintaining its position as the leading supplier of butadiene in North America," said CEO Michael McDonnell. "As the leading independent marketer of butadiene, we are focused on meeting our customers' needs for high quality products, delivered through our extensive aggregation and logistics network.
"The commitment we make to our customers is backed by the security of having multiple production units and multiple sources of feedstock supply, including our plans to add our own on-purpose butadiene production unit targeted for startup in 2016."
TPC Group first entered the butadiene market in 1943. Utilization of TPC's OXO-DTM technology, which began in 1965, allows for a highly efficient on-purpose butadiene production process, according to the company.
TPC Group said it aims to address the structural shortage of supply due to the shift from heavier to lighter feedslates by ethylene producers. The need for a capacity expansion is driven by the growing demand for butadiene and the reduced by-product of crude butadiene available as North American ethylene producers utilize more ethane as a primary feedstock.
TPC supplies the market with butadiene from its Houston and Port Neches production facilities in Texas.