Chevron Phillips Chemical Company LP has completed building the world’s largest on-purpose 1-hexene plant, the company announced June 12.
With worldwide supply capabilities, the 1-hexene unit is capable of producing 250,000 metric tons (551,000,000 lbs.) per year and will enjoy significant advantages in infrastructure, feedstock availability and operational knowledge by its placement in the existing Cedar Bayou Chemical Complex in Baytown, Texas, the company said.
"Our investment to expand 1-hexene production is due in part to Texas’ growth as a major international hub for the petrochemical industry and the increased supply of competitive feedstocks in the U.S. from the development of shale resources,” said Pete Cella, CEO of Chevron Phillips Chemical. “Only five years ago, the expectation was that the U.S. would become a significant net importer of ethylene derivatives. Now the U.S. is expecting to become a major exporter of ethylene derivatives, including 1-hexene, able to compete with any producing region in the world.”
The new plant is the third plant to utilize Chevron Phillips Chemical’s proprietary selective on-purpose 1-hexene technology, which produces comonomer grade 1-hexene from ethylene with exceptional product purity. 1-hexene is a critical component used in the manufacture of polyethylene, a plastic resin commonly converted into film, plastic pipe, detergent bottles, and food and beverage containers.
The proven technology is already successfully used at Qatar Chemical Company Ltd.’s (Q-Chem) facility in Mesaieed, Qatar, and at the Saudi Polymers Company plant in Al Jubail, Saudi Arabia. Both of these facilities are joint ventures of wholly-owned subsidiaries of Chevron Phillips Chemical Company LLC.
The project was first announced in June 2012.