"The availability of abundant supplies of natural gas and natural gas liquids from shale deposits is creating a tremendous advantage for U.S. manufacturers, and LyondellBasell is well-positioned to seize this opportunity at our Gulf Coast and Midwest facilities," Gallogly said.
LyondellBasell expects to begin construction this month on the first of several projects that will expand U.S. ethylene capacity by approximately 20 percent. "Our program of expanding current assets will add the capacity equivalent to a large existing cracker, be on stream earlier, and avoid the higher costs of constructing a new grassroots plant," Gallogly said.
LyondellBasell announced plans to expand its Corpus Christi, Texas, cracker by 800 million pounds per year of ethylene, with construction scheduled to begin in 2014 and projected completion in 2015. Construction associated with the La Porte, Texas, expansion is expected to begin this month and will add 800 million pounds per year of ethylene upon completion in 2014. A third project will add 250 million pounds per year of ethylene at Channelview, Texas, with completion projected in 2015. LyondellBasell currently has 6 crackers in the United States with an annual capacity of 9.8 billion pounds.
LyondellBasell is configuring its U.S. olefins assets to run 100 percent domestically-produced feedstocks, with up to 90 percent being natural gas liquids such as ethane, the company told the Investor Day audience.
In another project to take advantage of low-cost natural gas supplies in the United States, LyondellBasell announced that construction has commenced on the restart of a 260 million gallon-per-year methanol plant at Channelview. Startup of the methanol plant is projected for fourth quarter 2013.
Additionally, LyondellBasell said that the ongoing retrofit at the Houston refinery will enhance operating flexibility and accommodate a greater percentage of light domestic crude oil and heavy Canadian crude oil. Upon completion, the refinery's processing capability will broaden to as much as 50 percent light crude oil and approximately 175,000 barrels per day of heavy Canadian crude oil.
In Europe, the 40 percent expansion of butadiene capacity at Wesseling, Germany is scheduled for completion later in 2013.
LyondellBasell is one of the world's largest plastics, chemical and refining companies and a member of the S&P 500 Index. LyondellBasell manufactures products at 58 sites in 18 countries. LyondellBasell products and technologies are used to make items that improve the quality of life for people around the world including packaging, electronics, automotive parts, home furnishings, construction materials and biofuels.
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