LyondellBasell Industries N.V. (Rotterdam, the Netherlands) has successfully started up what is said to be the world’s largest propylene oxide (PO) and tertiary butyl alcohol (TBA) unit in Texas. These new assets on the U.S. Gulf Coast have a capacity of 470,000 metric tons per year (m.t./yr) of PO and one million m.t./yr of TBA and its derivatives.
“The world-leading capacity of the new plant positions us to meet the growing demand for products essential for modern life,” said Chris Cain, LyondellBasell senior vice president for Global Manufacturing. “Our company strives to be trailblazers in our industry and make positive contributions through our environmental and sustainability initiatives. This project advances our company’s goals and creates value while meeting customer and society’s needs, and it involved a collaborative effort between multiple project teams at Bayport, Channelview and around the world to deliver a project of this magnitude.”
The PO/TBA project is a split facility design, intended to optimize production and leverage synergies shared by the LyondellBasell Channelview Complex located in Channelview, Texas and the LyondellBasell Bayport Complex located in Pasadena, Texas. The 140-acre PO/TBA plant was built at the Channelview Complex, while the associated 34-acre ethers unit, which will convert TBA to oxyfuels, was built at the Bayport Complex.
The project is part of the company’s multi-billion dollar series of investments along the U.S. Gulf Coast. Based on an analysis by the Greater Houston Partnership, the LyondellBasell PO/TBA project is estimated to generate more than $450 million in tax benefits for the county, school district, community college and other local taxing districts over a 10-year period.
The development of LyondellBasell PO/TBA operations began at the Bayport Complex, with the first PO/TBA unit starting up in 1969. Through 50-plus years of global experience with PO/TBA operations and applying new innovations in yield improvement and PO recovery, the PO/TBA plant at the Channelview Complex is the most energy efficient PO/TBA facility in company history.