Dormant Westlake ethane cracker is back in business

(Courtesy Indorama)

The renovation and restart of a dormant ethane cracker in Westlake is mechanically complete.

The Oil & Gas Journal reports the 440,000 tons-per-year cracker owned by Indorama Ventures Olefins LLC, an indirect subsidiary of Thailand’s Indorama Ventures PCL (IVP) in Bangkok, is now undergoing trial runs, and IVO has stabilized production of on-spec ethylene and its byproducts at five of its seven furnaces, which will continue ramping up gradually over the course of this year’s second quarter.

Originally planned for commissioning in late 2017, the refurbished cracker—jointly owned by IVP (76%) and Singapore-based Indorama Corp. (24%)—is designed to process both ethane and propane feedstock from US shale to produce about ethylene and propylene.

At normalized production, Indorama says, IVP will secure about 75% of ethylene output for internal consumption for production of ethylene oxide and ethylene glycol, with the remaining production to be sold to market.

The cracker was idled in early 2001 and acquired under the joint venture entity Indorama Ventures Olefins LLC in September 2015 from Oxy. Since acquisition, the unit has been completely revamped with additional debottlenecking to take it to 430 KTA ethylene. The unit is now staffed at near 140 employees, according to Indorama. Nearly 80% of the plant capacity for ethylene will be captive to supply the EOEG plant (IVOG) in Clear Lake, Texas.

Oil & Gas Journal has the full story.