Chemical firm LyondellBasell has informed engineering and construction contractors it will slow construction of its world-scale propylene oxide (PO) and tertiary butyl alcohol (TBA) plant in the US. The company says it is limiting non-essential activities at this time due to ongoing concerns related to the Covid-19 pandemic, including government orders designed to limit human contact.
LyondellBasell’s PO/TBA project broke ground in August 2018. Currently, the project is more than 30% complete with ongoing installation of key equipment and towers. The PO/TBA project has a split-facility design to optimise synergies between two existing LyondellBasell sites. A 140-acre PO/TBA plant is being built at the company’s Channelview, Texas facility, and an associated 34-acre ethers unit is being built at the company’s Bayport Complex in Pasadena, Texas.
When complete, the PO/TBA plant will produce 470,000 tonnes/year of PO and 1 million tonnes/year of TBA, which will serve the growing need for better insulation material, home comfort, cleaner fuels and other consumer applications.
“The Covid-19 pandemic is unprecedented and evolving. Because the PO/TBA site is currently under construction and not producing needed products yet, in the interest of health and safety we believe it is prudent to limit construction activities at this time,” said Torkel Rhenman, executive vice president, Intermediates & Derivatives (I&D). “We remain committed to the completion of this strategic investment incorporating our low-cost, next generation PO/TBA technology. Over the next several weeks, we will be working with our contractors and suppliers to develop a revised project timeline.”
This announcement does not impact LyondellBasell’s ongoing operations at Channelview or Bayport, which are designated as part of the US’ critical infrastructure by the Department of Homeland Security.