Chevron Phillips Chemical starts up world’s largest plant for 1-hexene

Chevron Phillips Chemical announced Thursday the successful commissioning and start-up of the world’s largest on-purpose 1-hexene plant. 

With worldwide supply capabilities, the 1-hexene unit is capable of producing 250,000 tpy and will enjoy significant advantages in infrastructure, feedstock availability and operational knowledge by its placement in the existing Cedar Bayou chemical vomplex in Baytown, Texas.

“Chevron Phillips is committed to being a consistent and reliable supplier for our customers,” said Mitch Eichelberger, general manager of normal alpha olefins and polyalphaolefins for Chevron Phillips Chemical. “With the start-up of this plant, we will enable our customers to expand their businesses and meet the growing worldwide demand for 1-hexene comonomers.”

The new plant is the third plant to utilize Chevron Phillips Chemical’s proprietary selective on-purpose 1-hexene technology, which produces comonomer grade 1-hexene from ethylene with exceptional product purity. 1-hexene is a critical component used in the manufacture of polyethylene, a plastic resin commonly converted into film, plastic pipe, detergent bottles, and food and beverage containers.

“Our investment to expand 1-hexene production is due in part to Texas’ growth as a major international hub for the petrochemical industry and the increased supply of competitive feedstocks in the US from the development of shale resources,” said Pete Cella, CEO of Chevron Phillips Chemical. “Only five years ago, the expectation was that the US would become a significant net importer of ethylene derivatives. Now the US is expecting to become a major exporter of ethylene derivatives, including 1-hexene, able to compete with any producing region in the world.”

The technology is already successfully used at Qatar Chemical's (Q-Chem) facility in Mesaieed, Qatar, and at the Saudi Polymers Co. plant in Al Jubail, Saudi Arabia. Both of these facilities are joint ventures of wholly-owned subsidiaries of Chevron Phillips Chemical.

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