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Indorama says revamped Louisiana cracker begins commercial production


Revamp increases ethylene capacity

To supply Clear Lake, Port Neches

Houston — Indorama Ventures' 440,000 mt/year cracker in Lake Charles, Louisiana, has reached commercial production, the company said Monday.

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Indorama initially started up the cracker in May, but shut it down several months later for repairs and technical improvements after repeated flaring. The company restarted the plant in December, and said on Monday it had reached commercial production Friday.

Indorama acquired the plant in 2015 from OxyChem, the chemical division of Occidental Petroleum. The facility had been idled since 2001 amid reduced demand for petrochemical derivatives and escalating oil, natural gas and utility prices.

At that time, the mixed-feed cracker could produce 370,000 mt/year of ethylene and 30,000 mt/year of propylene. Indorama launched a revamp that increased its overall capacity to 420,000 mt/year of ethylene while reducing the propylene capacity to 20,000 mt/year.

Indorama said on Monday the cracker will supply ethylene to the company's 550,000 mt/year ethylene oxide/monoethylene glycol plant in Clear Lake, Texas, as well as EO/MEG and propylene oxide assets in Port Neches, Texas. Indorama acquired the Clear Lake assets in 2012, and last year acquired Huntsman's chemical intermediate and surfactants business in Port Neches.

Those Port Neches assets include a 235,867 mt/year mixed-feed cracker.