LyondellBasell gets permit for ethylene expansion at Corpus Christi
LyondellBasell has received a key permit required in the company's multi-plant ethylene expansion program which, when fully operational, is expected to increase annual ethylene capacity by an estimated $3.12 billion, for a total estimated capacity of $19.9 billion in North America.
The ethylene expansion program began in 2013 and represents a total investment of approximately $1.3 billion in the company's Channelview, La Porte and Corpus Christi, Texas plants which benefit from shale gas production.
On April 16, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued a final greenhouse gas permit for the Corpus Christi project. The permit is the first to be drafted by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and issued by EPA under a new program designed to help improve permitting efficiency and productivity for applicants in the State of Texas.
"We are very pleased with the joint efforts of the EPA and TCEQ. Successfully securing our permit in Corpus Christi means our multi-plant ethylene expansion program is on target to be fully operational by the end of 2015," Gallogly added.
The required plant modifications are well underway at the La Porte facility and are scheduled to be completed this summer. Start-up at the Channelview plant is planned for early 2015. Construction at Corpus Christi is expected to begin during the second half of this year with start-up scheduled for late 2015.
"Rather than build a new plant from the ground up, which can take five years or more, our approach is to expand our existing facilities and seize the feedstock advantage more swiftly and cost-effectively," said LyondellBasell CEO Jim Gallogly. "These projects, in addition to the recent restart of an idle methanol unit at our Channelview plant and a butadiene expansion at our Wesseling, Germany plant, can potentially add approximately $1.1 billion to our EBITDA, based on 2013 margins," he added.
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