Petrochemical major LyondellBasell
on Monday announced the opening of the 70,000-square-foot
Houston Technology Center to develop process
technologies and chemical catalysts for its intermediates and
Research and development activities at the facility will
focus on improving catalyst and process technologies to reduce
manufacturing costs, improve yields, and lower capital costs of
new construction for LyondellBasell's
global chemicals business.
Proprietary technologies supported at the site include
propylene oxide, butanediol and derivatives, glycols and glycol
ethers, acetyls, olefins and solvents.
Manufacturing plants supported by the center include three
Houston-area facilities in Channelview, Bayport
and La Porte, Texas, as well as Botlek and Maasvlakte,
Netherlands, Fos-sur-Mer, France, and a joint venture in
The center will employ approximately 80 people, 22 of
whom relocated from the company's former facility near
Philadelphia, with the balance hired locally. The new
facility is adjacent to the company's largest US manufacturing
complex in Channelview, east of Houston.
"The Houston Technology Center will support
research to improve our current processes and catalysts and
provide the capability to develop further technology enhancements in support
of LyondellBasell's intermediate and derivatives business,"
said Massimo Covezzi, senior vice president of research and
development (R&D) for LyondellBasell.
"Having a research center for our intermediates
business on the US Gulf Coast in proximity to our
manufacturing, commercial and engineering operations creates a
critical mass that did not previously exist," added Patrick
Quarles, senior vice president of the intermediates and
derivatives business. "We have leading technologies in
propylene oxide and acetyls, and this action reaffirms our
commitment to maintain our industry leadership in these
LyondellBasell noted that it has more than 5,000 patents
and patent applications worldwide covering manufacturing
processes, products and catalysts.
Other LyondellBasell R&D centers include Cincinnati,
Ohio, which focuses on polyolefin product application and
development in North America; Frankfurt, Germany, focused on
polyethylene and metallocene catalysts; and Ferrara, Italy,
focusing on polypropylene and Ziegler-Natta catalysts.