Groundbreaking held for mega chemical plant

LyondellBasell employees, local officials and guests of honour break ground on the world’s largest PO/TBA plant (PRNewsfoto/LyondellBasell)

Tyre manufacturers in the USA will benefit from the construction of what is said to be largest propylene oxide (PO) and tertiary butyl alcohol (TBA) plant ever built. Plastics, chemicals and refining company LyondellBasell broke ground on its new facility in Texas yesterday and will invest US$2.4 billion – the largest single capital investment in the firm’s history – to set up a plant capable of producing 470,000 tonnes of PO and a million tonnes of TBA per annum. The plant is expected to enter operation in 2021.

To optimise product balances and realise synergies between LyondellBasell sites, two facilities will be constructed on existing manufacturing sites. The 140-acre (56.7-hectare) PO/TBA plant will be built at the LyondellBasell Channelview Complex located in Channelview, Texas while an associated 34-acre (13.8-hectare) ethers unit, which will convert TBA to oxyfuels, will be built at the company’s Bayport Complex in Pasadena, Texas.

A portion of the TBA output will remain in the domestic market in the form of high purity isobutylene, a substance used in tyres and lubricants. Most of the production will be exported via the Houston Ship Channel.

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