ExxonMobil Chemical has agreed to license its tubular process technology to Sasol North America for a new low density polyethylene (LDPE) plant in Lake Charles, Louisiana, the companies said on Thursday.
The new 420,000 tpy plant is expected to be completed in late 2016.
Sasol Polymers, a division of Sasol Chemical Industries, also licensed the ExxonMobil Chemical tubular process for its LDPE plant in Sasolburg, South Africa, that opened in 2005.
"LDPE producers continue to choose our tubular process technology for its broad grade-slate capabilities, high reactor uptime and lower total cost compared with commercial gas-phase reactors," said Jennifer Dunphy, vice president of ExxonMobil Chemical Technology Licensing.
Used worldwide by ExxonMobil Chemical and its licensees, the company's high-pressure tubular process has been in operation since 1968 and has a long history of improvements and capacity expansion. The company also licenses autoclave technology for producing LDPE.
"The performance of our LDPE plant in Sasolburg and the experience of working with ExxonMobil Chemical before, during and after that facility came online helped convince us that the ExxonMobil Chemical tubular process was also the best choice for our Lake Charles plant," said Mike Biesheuvel, managing director for Sasol Polymers International Investments.
"The demonstrated performance of other ExxonMobil Chemical LDPE process licensees in [large] plants was another important factor in our selection," he added.