US Arcanum Plans More Butene-1 Plants

15.01.2018 -

US infrastructure group Arcanum is planning to add additional butene-1 plants to its flagship Raven facility, which is under construction in Baytown, Texas.

Raven is being developed by German specialty chemicals group Evonik and Quanta Capital Solutions, an affiliate of First Infrastructure Capital, one of Arcanum’s principal financial sponsors.

Permitting and other development efforts are underway that would enable two additional on-purpose butene-1 plants to be built at the same location. The company said that it had already secured long-term fee-based offtake agreements with multiple buyers that had committed to take nearly all of Raven’s nameplate 100,000 t/y butene-1 capacity.

Arcanum said that while Raven may be able to accommodate increased demand for the alpha-olefin by operating beyond its originally planned capacity, the company was also well positioned to develop and invest in new facilities to support significantly growing demand in North America.

Butene-1 is used to make a variety of base chemicals, including as a co-monomer for PE. Most linear alpha-olefins are produced by processes that yield a range of products, including butene-1. However, the Raven plant is being designed to produce on-purpose butene-1 from ethylene using Axens’ AlphaButol technology in order to meet anticipated growth in PE and associated markets.

Groundbreaking at the Raven plant took place in April 2017 and the project is scheduled for completion in the second half of 2018. Investment costs are put at nearly $200 million.

Ted Pettijohn, who joined as Arcanum’s CEO this month and was a former senior vice president with Evonik Corporation, said that with the potential expanded capacity, Arcanum could become the largest butene-1 supplier in the world.