LyondellBasell has completed its 800 million pounds-per-year ethylene expansion project at its Corpus Christi, Texas, facility, the company announced Thursday.

“As we look to meet growing, global demand for our products, we continue to seek the right opportunities that ensure we are well positioned for the longer term,” stated Bob Patel, LyondellBasell CEO and chairman of the management board, in a press release. “By expanding ethylene capacity in the U.S. through debottlenecks rather than long and costly greenfield developments, we quickly added substantial capacity for significantly less than the cost of a new plant.”

LyondellBasell noted the expansion allows the Corpus Christi facility to now produce 2.5 billion pounds-per-year of the basic chemical building block ethylene, which is used in housewares, construction materials, automotive parts, food packaging and personal care products.

The Corpus Christ project wraps up a multi-year initiative by the company to add 2 billion pounds of U.S. ethylene production capacity. Over the past 5 years, LyondellBasell has spent approximately $2 billion on U.S. Gulf Coast expansions and plans to invest another $3 billion in the region, the company noted. Later this year, it plans to begin construction on a high density polyethylene (HDPE) plant in LaPorte, Texas, targeted for a 2019 start-up. Also, the company reported that it is making progress on development of a world-scale propylene oxide and tertiary butyl alcohol (PO/TBA) plant at its Channelview, Texas, facility.

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