South African-based energy and chemical company Sasol has agreed to form a joint venture with INEOS Olefins & Polymers USA to manufacture high-density polyethylene (HDPE) in the U.S.

"This partnership will leverage the expertise of two global players in the chemical market. Together we will develop a world-scale HDPE plant which will allow us to monetize ethylene and supply a high quality product," said André de Ruyter, Sasol Senior Group Executive for Global Chemicals and North American Operations. "The joint venture expands on our greater North American strategy and will complement the products produced from the ethane cracker and derivatives project in southwest Louisiana."

The proposed facility will produce 470 kilotons per year of bimodal HDPE using Innovene™ S process technology licensed from INEOS Technologies. The intention is to produce a limited number of grades allowing high grade efficiencies.

"This joint venture demonstrates INEOS's continued commitment to the HDPE market and to growing end-use applications that benefit from bimodal technology. It enables two global companies to integrate with each partner's upstream businesses the leading bimodal slurry technology on a world-scale asset," said Dennis Seith, CEO of INEOS Olefins & Polymers USA.

The final investment decision is expected to be made in the first half of 2014 with start-up of the plant expected at the end of 2015.