LyondellBasell will raise its ethylene capacity in North
America by 18% in coming years through several debottlenecking
projects, its CEO said on Wednesday.
Locations where ethylene capacity will be expanded include
crackers in Corpus Christi, La Porte and Channelview, Texas,
according to the company. The projects are scheduled to be
finished in 2014 and 2015.
Jim Gallogly, CEO of LyondellBasell, made his comments at the
company's annual investor day in New York. He said the company
aims to finish its projects two-to-three years earlier
than industry competitors building new plants, all at a lower
"We hope these projects will be paid for before our
competitors even come online," he said.
Gallogly said he expects ethane to stay price-advantaged in
the US for at least the next five years. He noted that natural
gas producers are still incentivized to produce wet gas and, as
a result, LyondellBasell plans to raise its ability to crack
natural gas liquids (NGLs) from 85% to 90%.
LyondellBasell also said it was "in the early stages" of
evaluating a 1 million lb/year polyethylene plant in North
America by 2016.
Overall, the company plans to invest $1.6 billion in growth
capital expenditures (CAPX) over the next four years, adding
over $1.5 billion/year in new earnings by 2017.
Aside from the North American ethylene debottlenecks,
proposed projects also include a methanol restart in the US and a
butadiene expansion in Germany.