LyondellBasell announced that it will slow construction of its world-scale propylene oxide (PO) and tertiary butyl alcohol (TBA) plant. The company said 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.
„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.“
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 optimize synergies between two existing LyondellBasell sites. A 140-acre PO/TBA plant is being built at the company’s Channelview, TX, facility, and an associated 34-acre ethers unit is being built at the company’s Bayport Complex in Pasadena, TX, USA. When complete, the PO/TBA plant will produce approximately 1 billion pounds (470,000 t) of PO and 2.2 billion pounds (1 million t) of TBA annually, which will serve the growing need for better insulation material, home comfort, cleaner fuels and other consumer applications.
According to the company, this announcement does not impact LyondellBasell’s ongoing operations at Channelview or Bayport, which are designated as part of the United States‘ critical infrastructure by the Department of Homeland Security.