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Equistar to add feedstock flexibility at Corpus Christi
Aug '09
Equistar Chemicals announced that its Corpus Christi, Texas, olefins plant will transition to a feedstock slate of nearly all natural gas liquids (NGL) in 2010. Equistar will idle the site's butadiene extraction and hydrodealkylation units as part of this transition.

"Positioning the Corpus Christi site to operate almost exclusively on NGLs enables us to benefit from the anticipated cost advantage of this feedstock for the next several years," said Vaughn Deasy, Senior Vice President of Base Chemicals and Polyethylene for LyondellBasell. "We have been able to achieve this transition with minimal capital and maintain the flexibility to return to a heavy liquids feed slate in the future when appropriate."

The Corpus Christi plant currently utilizes a mix of NGLs and higher-cost feedstocks such as crude oil-based naphtha and condensate, which yield co-products such as butadiene and benzene from the units being idled. The switch to lower-cost NGLs, such as ethane and propane, will reduce feedstock costs and provide the site with maximum flexibility and result in operating costs comparable to an NGL cracker. The capability will be fully operational in the first quarter 2010 at the conclusion of a scheduled maintenance turnaround.

The Corpus Christi plant has a nameplate capacity of 1.7 billion pounds per year of ethylene and 700 million pounds of propylene. LyondellBasell, through its global subsidiaries, has 10 olefins plants worldwide and a rated annual capacity of 13.7 billion pounds of ethylene and 8 billion pounds of propylene. These facilities include world-scale crackers in the United States at Channelview, La Porte and Corpus Christi, Texas; Clinton, Iowa, and Morris, Illinois; and in Europe at Wesseling and Muenchsmunster, Germany, and Berre, France. Olefins are basic petrochemicals that include ethylene and propylene, which are used in the production of consumer products, packaging, housing and automotive components.

LyondellBasell Industries

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