U.S. Chemical Project Kickoffs Abound in First-Quarter 2017
A polyethylene unit addition and a plastics recycling and tires-to-oil plant, both in Texas, are among the 105 Chemical Processing Industry projects being tracked by Industrial Info that are slated to start construction in the first quarter of 2017.
Industrial Info is tracking capital projects with a combined value of $5.45 billion that have kick-off dates during the first three months of next year. Many petrochemical projects continue to benefit from abundant shale gas supplies. According to the American Chemistry Council, overall U.S. chemical production will have grown 1.6% this year, despite constraints imposed by weakened manufacturing and export markets, and is expected to grow by 3.6% in 2017.
With 57 projects worth more than $3.7 billion, the Southwest Region holds the lion's share of the kick-offs. In addition to Texas, the region includes Louisiana, Arkansas and Oklahoma.
At its complex in La Porte, Texas, LyondellBasell Industries (NYSE:LYB) (Rotterdam, The Netherlands) has been preparing to start construction on the 1.1 billion-pound-per-year LB1 Polyethylene Unit Addition. The petrochemical project is expected to create up to 1,000 jobs at the peak of construction, with start-up planned for 2019. LyondellBasell Chief Executive Bob Patel said in September the location of the La Porte complex on the Houston Ship Channel was one of the key factors in deciding to build the polyethylene unit addition there. The company recently completed work on ethylene expansion projects at La Porte and at its Channelview, Texas, complex.
Elsewhere in Texas, Green EnviroTech Holdings Corporation (Jamestown, California) is performing planning and scheduling for a plastics recycling and tires-to-oil plant in Cleveland. The grassroot plant will produce 104 tons per day of carbon black and high-grade oil from old tires. It will also produce compounded plastic resin, with an offtake of syngas and steel. The facility will be equipped with the ability to expand capacity threefold. Completion is set for the end of 2017. The firm is planning to duplicate its tires-to-oils process across many sites.
In neighboring Louisiana, Yuhuang Chemical's planned 1.9 million-ton-per-year Saint James methanol plant has drawn a lot of local interest with its promise of new jobs. The U.S. subsidiary of China's Shandong Yuhuang Chemical Company first announced the project in 2014. The project is expected to create 400 permanent jobs and 2,100 temporary construction jobs at its peak, according to The New Orleans Advocate. Company and local government officials celebrated the project in a ceremony in September, 2015, with hopes that construction could begin later that year. However, another year has passed without the project turning dirt.
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