Lotte Chemical opens MEG/ethylene plants in the US

Lotte Chemical Titan Holding (LCT) has expanded in the US with its US$3.1 billion ethane cracker and mono ethylene glycol (MEG) plant in Lake Charles, Louisiana. The project, by Lotte Chemical USA Corporation (LC USA), is a 60:40 joint-venture investment project between LCT and Lotte Chemical Corporation (LCC) of South Korea.

LCT said the large-scale petrochemical complex, comprising two manufacturing facilities, is expected to produce 1 million tonnes of ethylene/year and 700,000 tonnes/year of MEG).

The facility was developed by means of a joint venture structure between LC USA, which owns a 90% stake, and Axiall Corporation, which owns the remaining 10% stake. Axiall Corporation is owned by Westlake Chemical Corporation.

LCT’s effective stake in the ethane cracker is 36%. Half of the ethylene produced from the ethane cracker will be sold to Axiall Corporation and the other half will be consumed by the LC USA MEG plant as the primary feedstock.

The MEG facility is wholly owned by LC USA, and LCT has a 40% stake in this facility. LC USA has established a stable sales network and is focused on the sale of MEG to primary markets in North America, Europe and Asia.

“The full-fledged operation of the LC USA Shale Gas Project will diversify the company’s reliance on naphtha and increase its use of shale gas as feedstock, thereby minimising risk and stabilizing cost competitiveness through oil price fluctuations. This will therefore strengthen the company’s competitiveness through the diversification of raw materials, production bases and sales,” said the firm.

Lotte Chemical’s global ethylene output capacity is now 4.5 million tonnes, the statement added. In South Korea, Lotte Chemical runs two naphtha crackers which have a combined ethylene production capacity of 2.2 million tonnes/year.