Another new project has emerged on the U.S. Gulf Coast to take advantage of shale-gas-based petrochemical feedstocks. Total Petrochemicals & Refining says it is “seriously progressing” on its project to build a new ethylene cracker there.
The company, part of the French oil giant Total, has filed permits with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers for a cracker capable of producing 1 million metric tons per year of ethylene 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, the timing, or what possible downstream derivative plants it might include. The company is a large U.S. producer of polyethylene and polystyrene.
Total first mentioned it was studying a new cracker in May 2013 when completion of upgrades to its Port Arthur joint venture with BASF was announced. The company said that, at Port Arthur, it could take advantage of existing infrastructure.
The cracker is one of 12 planned for the U.S. Six of them are already under construction. However, two other firms with projects still in the planning stage, Odebrecht and Axiall, have cast doubt about staying on schedule.