USA: Final Investment Decision Next Wave to Build Ethylene-to-Alkylate Production Facility

Editor: MA Alexander Stark

Next Wave Energy Partners has made a positive final investment decision (FID) to construct a new alkylate production facility. The facility, known as Project Traveler, will be located adjacent to the Houston Ship Channel at the company's site in Pasadena, Texas.

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Wave Energy Partners is going to build an Ethylene-to-Alkylate Production facility near the Houston Ship Channel.
Wave Energy Partners is going to build an Ethylene-to-Alkylate Production facility near the Houston Ship Channel.
(Source: Public Domain / Pixabay )

Houston/USA — Next Wave will convert a portion of North America’s growing ethylene supply to alkylate by utilizing licensed and commercially proven process technologies at a new facility in Pasadena. The facility will have a nameplate capacity of 28,000 barrels per day of alkylate. The company expects initial production by mid-2022. Project Traveler is underpinned by long-term customer contracts for a majority of the nameplate capacity. Equity financing for the project is being provided by Energy Capital Partners and members of Next Wave’s senior management. The total cost for the project was not disclosed.

Alkylate is a gasoline blending component that is one of the cleanest petroleum products that can be produced and typically comprises about 11 % to 13 % of the overall gasoline pool in the United States. Alkylate is prized for its high octane, low vapor pressure and low sulfur properties. Next Wave’s alkylate product, marketed under the trade name Optimate, offers qualities superior to traditional refinery alkylate because it can be produced with 96.0 road octane (98.0 Research Octane Number), a low 3.5 Reid vapor pressure and five parts per million or less of sulfur.

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The new facility will have the capability to consume in excess of 1.2 billion pounds per year of ethylene feedstock, which will be delivered to the site by multiple pipelines. The Optimate product will be delivered via direct-connection pipelines to major gasoline blending terminals in Pasadena, which have dock access to marine movements through the Houston Ship Channel as well as connections to major refined product distribution pipelines. The Next Wave facility also has been designed to accommodate receipt of feedstock and delivery of product by rail as future business opportunities warrant.

The project is expected to create up to 750 jobs during construction and approximately 30 direct permanent jobs once completed.