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
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.