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Chexpress - October 29, 2014

North America

Ethane Cracker

Sasol will build an $8.1 billion plant in Lake Charles, Louisiana. The plant will convert natural gas into plastics ingredient ethylene as part of the biggest overseas investment by a South African company. This effort is expected to be followed by plans to build an integrated gas-to-liquids and chemicals facility there too. The planned cracker will produce 1.5 million tons of ethylene/year for use in plastics and chemicals. Sasol will invest an additional $800 million in infrastructure and utility improvements, as well as on land acquisition.


Fluor Technip Integrated was awarded a contract to continue to support Sasol with the detailed design, procurement and construction of its ethane cracker and derivatives complex in Westlake, Louisiana (as outlined above). The new complex will be constructed adjacent to Sasol’s existing facility. Flour Technip Integrated will be responsible for the 1.5 million tons/year ethane cracker, downstream derivative units and associated utilities, offsites and infrastructure work. Construction is expected to be complete in 2018.

Capacity Expansion

Westlake Chemical Corporation will expand its ethylene capacity and make other capital improvements in Lake Charles, Louisiana with an investment of more than $330 million. This expansion is expected to be completed in late 2015 or early 2016 and will increase ethane-based ethylene capacity at the plant by approximately 250 million pounds/year.


Compounding Deal

Celanese Japan Limited and Setsunakasei Co. Ltd. (Setsunan) have signed a letter of intent to pursue an agreement whereby Setsunan will compound Celanese engineered polymers in Setsunan’s facilities in Japan. Celanese engineering polymers are used in a wide array of applications across many industries, including automotive, consumer and industrial segments. These polymers may be processed by injection molding, extrusion, compression, molding, rotational casting or blow molding.

LNG Project

Eni has signed a cooperation agreement with Korea Gas Corporation (Kogas) to further strengthen their relationship in a number of areas, particularly in the upstream and LNG (liquefied natural gas) sectors. The agreement allows the companies to jointly pursue opportunities worldwide. The companies expect the agreement to facilitate the LNG development of Area 4 in Mozambique where Eni is operator with a 50 percent interest, Kogas, Galp Energia and ENH partners in the agreement with 10 percent interest each, and CNPC with 20 percent indirect participation. Area 4’s total resources are estimated to be approximately 85 trillion cubic feet of gas in place and ready to enter in the development phase in 2015.

Refining Capacity Boost

PDVSA plans to invest $20 billion to expand its domestic refining capacity in Venezuela by 20 percent. PDVSA plans to add 265,000 barrels/day of refining capacity to the current 1.3 million barrels/day. The plans include doubling the capacity of the 146,000 barrels/day El Palito facility and boosting capacity of the 187,000 barrels/day Puerto la Cruz refinery by 20,000 to 25,000 barrels/day. The plans also involve optimizing the operations of the Paraguana Refining Center.


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