Equistar Chemicals, LP announced that its olefins unit at La Porte, Texas, will return to service before the end of January. The unit was temporarily idled in October 2008 due to declining market and economic conditions. The plant has a nameplate capacity of 1.7 billion pounds per year of ethylene and 700 million pounds of propylene.
"Demand for petrochemical derivatives is showing signs of improvement in the first quarter after extremely weak demand late in the fourth quarter. We need the additional capacity from La Porte to satisfy both our internal and our external demand," said Vaughn Deasy, Vice President of Base Chemicals for LyondellBasell. Equistar Chemicals is an indirect subsidiary of LyondellBasell Industries AF S.C.A.
Equistar also temporarily idled an olefins plant at Chocolate Bayou, Texas, in Dec. 2008. "We will maintain the Chocolate Bayou plant in a state of readiness until adequate demand returns for petrochemical derivatives on the Gulf Coast," Deasy said.
LyondellBasell, through its global subsidiaries, has 11 olefins plants worldwide and a rated annual capacity of 14.9 billion pounds of ethylene and 8.7 billion pounds of propylene. This includes world-scale crackers in the United States at Channelview, La Porte, Chocolate Bayou and Corpus Christi, Texas; Clinton, Iowa, and Morris, Illinois; and in Europe at Wesseling and Muenchsmunster, Germany, and Berre, France.
LyondellBasell Industries is one of the world's largest polymers, petrochemicals and fuels companies. We are the global leader in polyolefins technology, production and marketing; a pioneer in propylene oxide and derivatives; and a significant producer of fuels and refined products, including biofuels.