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05-16-2017

LyondellBasell Begins Construction of a PE Plant

CEO Bob Patel talks about the new plant (© LyondellBasell)

CEO Bob Patel talks about the new plant (© LyondellBasell)

LyondellBasell, Houston, Texas, USA, has broken ground on the first commercial Hyperzone polyethylene (PE) plant at its La Porte, Texas, complex. The plant will be capable of producing 1.1 billion pounds (500,000 t) of high density polyethylene (HDPE) annually and will employ the company's new proprietary Hyperzone PE technology. Startup of the plant is planned for 2019.

Bob Patel, LyondellBasell CEO: "The new Hyperzone PE plant will produce a better plastic that advances solutions to modern challenges, like protecting the purity of water supplies through stronger and more versatile pipes and ensuring the freshness of bulk foods by providing tough, crack-resistant containers for storage. This is truly a global effort developed by an international team, built to serve worldwide markets."

According to the company Hyperzone PE technology enables customers to produce cost-effective, light weight plastics that are strong, durable and widely recyclable. The new PE technology also enables the production of a broad spectrum of HDPE products in one single plant whereas previous technologies require multiple plants.

The company plans to make the new process technology available for licensing in the future. The technology took years to advance to commercialization and was a product of LyondellBasell's global research and development teams in Ferrara, Italy; Frankfurt, Germany; Cincinnati, Ohio; and Houston, Texas.

The company chose to build the new plant at its existing La Porte Complex because of its proximity to price-advantaged U.S. feedstocks and the transportation infrastructure needed to ship product to markets across the globe. The project will create up to 1000 jobs at the peak of construction and 75 permanent positions.

The La Porte Complex is one of LyondellBasell's largest manufacturing facilities spanning approximately 550 acres. The complex has two docks on the Houston Ship Channel and truck and rail transportation capabilities. Once the Hyperzone PE plant is complete, the La Porte Complex will more than double its annual PE capacity to 2 billion pounds (900,000 t). The company currently produces a total of 7 billion pounds (3 million t) of HDPE annually, including its share of capacity through joint venture facilities.

The new plant is part of LyondellBasell's plan for USD 3–5 billion of investments along the U.S. Gulf Coast. The company recently completed work on ethylene expansion projects at its La Porte, Channelview and Corpus Christi sites in Texas. Additionally, development of a world-scale propylene oxide and tertiary butyl alcohol (PO/TBA) plant at the company's Channelview site is progressing and a final PO/TBA investment decision is expected in the second half of 2017.

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