One of the largest plastics, chemicals and refining companies, LyondellBasell, has begun plans to build a multibillion-dollar chemicals and plastics plant along the Gulf Coast, possibly in the Houston area although the final decision is still over a year away.
LyondellBasell CEO Bob Patel commented that the project would cost more than $2 billion and use propane to make chemicals and then plastic polypropylene to serve North and South American markets.
“It’ll take us a good part of about 12 months before we get to the point where we make a final decision,” Patel said. “But, yes, PDH (propane dehydrogenation) and polypropylene is the next project. It’ll likely be somewhere along the Gulf Coast.” Patel said he hopes to move forward with the plans by the end of 2018.
Houston’s LyondellBasell already is in the midst of a massive expansion along the Houston Ship Channel, currently building a plastics plant in La Porte and beginning construction on a $2.4 billion chemicals complex spanning two locations in Channelview and Pasadena.
The new LyondellBasell plant will make propylene oxide, which is used to make bedding, carpeting, coatings, building materials and adhesives, and the by-product tertiary butyl alcohol, which is refined into an additive that makes fuels burn cleaner. The plant will have the biggest production capacity in the world for these chemicals, capable of manufacturing 1 billion pounds of propylene oxide and 2.2 billion pounds of tertiary butyl alcohol a year. As part of the project, the company will build a plant to refine tertiary butyl alcohol into fuel additives at its nearby Bayport facility in Pasadena. Construction on the project is slated to begin next year, with completion scheduled for 2021.
Photo Courtesy of LyondellBasell