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Business

Total Cracker Plans Advance

by Alexander H. Tullo
April 13, 2015 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 93, ISSUE 15

Total Petrochemicals & Refining says it is “seriously progressing” on its project to build a new ethylene cracker on the U.S. Gulf Coast. The company has filed permits with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers for a 1 million-metric-ton-per-year cracker at its site in Port Arthur, Texas. Total cautions that although Port Arthur is named in the permits, it hasn’t settled on a location for the plant and is still considering another possible location. Moreover, the company does not yet have an estimate for the cost of the new facility and says it is still studying construction timing and possible derivative plants it might include. The company is a large U.S. producer of polyethylene and polystyrene. Total first mentioned it was contemplating a new cracker in May 2013 when it announced the completion of upgrades to its Port Arthur cracker joint venture with BASF. The Total cracker is one of 12 planned for the U.S. Six of them are already under construction. However, two firms with projects still in the planning stage, Braskem and Axiall, have already cast doubt on whether their new crackers will proceed on schedule.

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