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Formosa Plastics has become the fifth company in less than a year to announce its intention to build a new ethylene cracker complex in the U.S. The company has unveiled plans for a $1.7 billion investment that will include an 800,000-metric-ton-per-year cracker at its chemical complex in Point Comfort, Texas. Formosa will also build a propane dehydrogenation plant with 600,000 metric tons of capacity and a 300,000-metric-ton low-density polyethylene plant as part of the project, which it hopes to complete in 2016. Chevron Phillips Chemical, Dow Chemical, Sasol, and Shell Chemical are also considering new crackers as part of a wave of investment spurred by low-cost feedstocks derived from shale-sourced natural gas liquids (see page 10). Formosa completed an ethylene cracker, as well as downstream polyethylene and polypropylene plants, in 2001 as part of a previous expansion wave.
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