Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Sasol Brings New Units Online in Louisiana

Sasol reported Tuesday that the fifth and sixth units at its Lake Charles Chemicals Project (LCCP) have achieved beneficial operations, raising the Louisiana ethane cracker project’s total online nameplate capacity to 86 percent.


The latest two facilities to go online include the Ziegler alcohol unit on June 16, 2020, and the Guerbet alcohol unit three days later, stated Sasol. With new alcohol units running, 100 percent of LCCP’s specialty chemicals capacity is online, added the firm.


“The beneficial operations of these LCCP facilities progresses Sasol’s seven-unit U.S. Gulf Coast mega-project to the cusp of completion,” Fleetwood Grobler, Sasol’s president and CEO, commented in a written statement emailed to Rigzone. “The additional capacity strengthens Sasol’s leadership position in the specialty alcohol and alumina markets, which is core to the company’s chemicals growth strategy.”


According to Sasol, the LCCP Ziegler unit augments the Lake Charles facility’s existing Ziegler plant and is the largest unit of its kind in the world. The firm noted the unit adds nameplate capacity of 173,000 tons per year (173 ktpa) of alcohol and 32,000 tons (32 ktpa) of alumina. It also stated the new Guerbet unit at LCCP is the company’s second Guerbet alcohol production site, with the first located in Brunsbuettel, Germany. The LCCP Guerbet unit is the largest such alcohol plant in the world, with a nameplate capacity of 30,000 tons per year (30 ktpa), Sasol added.


By the end of this September, Sasol expects the last remaining LCCP unit – the low density polyethylene (LDPE) – to go online. The firm noted that its capital expenditure for LCCP at the end of May 2020 totaled $12.8 billion. It added the project has created more than 800 full-time manufacturing jobs, provided work for up to 6,500 people onsite during construction and generated nearly $200 million in local and state tax revenue.


As Rigzone reported last August, approximately 90 percent of LCCP’s ethylene output will be processed further into commodity and high-margin specialty chemicals and the remaining 10 percent will be sold on the merchant market and supply a Sasol joint venture with INEOS in Texas.


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