Ineos has announced the final plans for its world-scale Linear Alpha Olefin (LAO) unit at Chocolate Bayou, Texas. Accoring to the recently released figures, the new plant will be build even bigger than previously announced.
Houston, Texas/USA – With an annual capacity of 20 thousand tons, the new LAO production complex will be 20% larger than when the project was originally announced. This investment represents a major step forward in the ambitious growth plans for the LAO business, complementing existing units in Joffre, Alberta, Canada and Feluy, Belgium respectively, company speakers stated.
Once the unit comes on-stream in November, 2018 the global LAO production capacity of Ineos Oligomers will reach approximately one million tons per year. “The new unit will be based on our own proprietary and differentiated Ineos Oligomers “broad-based” LAO technology. Therefore, the plant’s product distribution and product specifications will be very familiar to our customers. In addition, the unit will also include process technology improvements that will also reduce our variable costs” explained Joe Walton, Ineos Oligomers Business Director.
“We continue to believe our market and technology focus, combined with our access to USGC ethylene economics, make this a very attractive opportunity. Hence, our ultimate decision to build a unit larger than the 350 ktpa originally envisioned and fully exploit available economies of scale” Walton added.
“We continue to see strong, above GDP, growth for LAO in the key markets we serve: Polyethylene (PE) comonomers, Polyalphaolefin (PAO) lubricants and drilling fluids. Our new unit will be well placed to supply the significant new PE capacity being built on the Gulf Coast over the next several years. In addition, the unit will also provide the feedstock that will enable our long term PAO capacity growth to support the demand for high performance synthetic lubricants. For example, our new high viscosity PAO unit will come on-stream in 1Q2017 and engineering has begun on a new world scale low viscosity PAO train. Furthermore, our LAO drilling fluids can be readily exported to offshore fields in the Gulf Coast, Caribbean and Latin America” concluded Walton.
“The Chocolate Bayou site represents an excellent location for our new unit” declared Peter Steylaerts, Project General Manager. “It already boasts two world scale ethylene crackers and offers ready access to the US Gulf Coast ethylene pipeline distribution network. The location has ample space for our new unit, including potential for future expansions”, he added.