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Chevron Phillips starts up ethane cracker in Baytown

By Mary Page Bailey |

Chevron Phillips Chemical Company LP (The Woodlands, Tex.; www.cpchem.com) announced that it has successfully introduced feedstock and commenced operations of a new ethane cracker at its Cedar Bayou facility in Baytown, Texas. At peak production, the unit will produce 1.5 million metric tons per year (m.t./yr). This unit will be one of the largest and most energy-efficient crackers in the world.  In September 2017, the company announced the successful commissioning and start-up of two new Marlex polyethylene units in Old Ocean, Texas, based on the company’s proprietary MarTech technologies.  Together, these assets form the bulk of the company’s U.S. Gulf Coast Petrochemicals Project (USGCPP), which was first announced in 2011.

“Construction of these world-scale assets has been ongoing since 2014 and today, we are entering a new era of growth,” said Mark Lashier, president and CEO of Chevron Phillips Chemical.  “With global demand for ethylene and polyethylene poised for sustained long-term growth, the U.S. Gulf Coast Petrochemicals Project will allow Chevron Phillips Chemical to deliver high-quality products to our customers across the country and around the globe.”

Ethylene produced by the new ethane cracker at Cedar Bayou will be used to meet the needs of the company’s derivative units, including the two new polyethylene units at Old Ocean, Texas, which are capable of producing a wide variety of products, ranging from metallocene linear low-density polyethylene to Advanced Dual Loop bimodal polyethylene resins.  These resins are turned into consumer and industrial products such as plastic films for food safety and preservation; and polyethylene pipe for water distribution and natural gas transport.  In addition, the ethylene will feed the company’s AlphaPlus normal alpha olefins plants which are used extensively for polyethylene comonomers, plasticizers, synthetic motor oils, lubricants, automotive additives, surfactants, paper sizing, and in a wide range of other specialty applications.

“Born from the shale revolution that is providing low-cost feedstock, the U.S. Gulf Coast Petrochemicals Project is the most transformational project in the history of our company,” continued Lashier.  “Our company and our growing employee base, the communities we call home, and the entire Gulf Coast region’s economy will benefit for decades to come as our project comes to life.”

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