Chevron Phillips Commissions US PE Plants

13.10.2017 -

Chevron Phillips Chemical has completed commissioning and begun start-up operations at its two new PE plants on the US Gulf Coast. The plants will use the US group’s proprietary MarTech technology to each produce up to 500,000 t/y of a variety of PE resins, ranging from metallocene linear low density PE (LLDPE) film to bimodal film and pipe products.

The plants on the Sweeny site at Old Ocean, Texas, represent the first phase of the company’s U.S. Gulf Coast Petrochemicals Project, which also comprises a 1.5 million t/y ethane cracker to provide feedstock for the PE plants.

The cracker is currently under construction at Cedar Bayou, near Baytown, and was originally scheduled to go online in the second half of 2017. However, flooding at Baytown as a result of Hurricane Harvey has pushed start-up back into next year. Chevron Phillips Chemical said it currently expects to complete construction and begin commissioning of the cracker by the first quarter of 2018 with the plant ramping up to full capacity during the second quarter.

President and CEO, Mark Lashier, said that it was the first company to announce in 2011 a “leading-edge” $6 billion petrochemicals project to take advantage of the newfound and abundant shale gas resources in the US that have fuelled an economic revival across the country.

The company also completed in June a 20% expansion of low-viscosity polyalphaolefins (PAO) capacity at Cedar Bayou, enabling it to meet rising demand for high-performance lubricants in automotive and industrial applications.