Axiall and Lotte Greenlight Louisiana Ethylene Plant

21.12.2015 -

US chlorvinyls company Axiall and South Korea’s Lotte Chemical have made a final investment decision to construct an ethylene plant in Lake Charles, Louisiana, USA. The facility will be built by a newly formed joint venture, LACC.

The cracker, based on ethane from US shale gas, will produce around 1 million t/y of ethylene and provide partial backward integration for Axiall’s vinyls business as well as supplying feedstock for Lotte Chemical’s new monoethylene glycol (MEG) plant at the site.

Start-up is expected at the beginning of 2019. The plant will be located adjacent to Axiall’s largest chlor-alkali facility, to benefit from its existing infrastructure, competitive feedstock resources and ethylene distribution system.

CB&I has completed front-end engineering and design and will execute the main cracker contract using its proprietary technology. Site clearance and preparation started during this year’s fourth quarter of 2015, and construction is scheduled to start in the second quarter of 2016.

Tim Mann, Axiall’s president and CEO, described the project as a major step forward in addressing the company’s long-term strategy to improve its ethylene cost position.

Separately, Samsung Engineering has announced that it has won the contract from Lotte Chemical to build the MEG plant at Lake Charles. SEA Louisiana Construction, a subsidiary of Samsung Engineering, will provide detailed engineering and procurement, and CB&I will carry out construction of the 700,000 t/y plant.

Samsung Engineering’s contract is worth about $430 million, while CB&I will receive about $370 million for its services.

In October of this year, Lotte Chemical completed a $389 million chemical complex at Surgil, Uzbekistan. The facility, claimed to be the largest petrochemical site in Europe or Asia, will begin commercial-scale production next month.

Lotte also recently confirmed plans to spend 2.8 trillion won ($2.45 billion) to buy part of Samsung’s petrochemical business.