Borealis and Total Start Ethane Cracker in Texas

26.07.2022 - The 1 million t/y ethane cracker built by US-headquartered Bayport Polymers (also known as Baystar), a 50:50 joint venture of Borealis and TotalEnergies, has begun commercial scale production at Total’s refinery in Port Arthur, Texas.

Originally due to come on stream in 2020, the nearly $2 billion facility built on the site of the TotalEnergies refinery is two years behind schedule – the companies did not give a reason for the delay.

Ethylene produced by the cracker will be used to feed Baystar’s two existing polyethylene units with total capacity for 400,000 t/y as well as a new 625,000 t/y PE unit the JV is currently building at Bayport, which will use Borealis’ Borstar technology.

Borealis CEO Thomas Gangl said the new cracker is “an important milestone” for Baystar along the path to expanding the company’s global footprint and becoming a fully integrated polyethylene producer. The focus, he said, “will be on growing the polymers market in North America and leveraging the power of partnerships.”

The Vienna-based company, which in addition to olefins and polyolefins also produces fertilizer – a business it is in the process of selling – said its Borstar process offers simultaneous improvements in production flexibility and environmental performance such as high energy efficiency.

When announcing plans in 2018, the companies said TotalEnergies would own 50% of the production company, with Novealis Holdings, a joint venture between Borealis and Canada’s Nova Chemicals holding the remainder. Borealis bought Nova’s share of Novealis in 2020.

Author: Dede Williams, Freelance Journalist


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