US – Netherlands-based chemical company, LyondellBasell has announced plans to expand its propylene production capacity at its Channelview Complex near Houston, Texas.

According to the firm, the plans include the construction of a new propylene facility using LyondellBasell’s current technology to convert ethylene into propylene to produce polypropylene and propylene oxide.

LyondellBasell anticipates a final investment decision on the 400-kiloton propylene expansion project towards the end of next year.

LyondellBasell Global Olefins & Polyolefins Executive Vice President Ken Lane said: “In addition to the lower carbon emissions than competing technologies, we believe the project has more favourable economics compared to other production methods.

“The products offered through this investment will be an important element to helping our value chain partners achieve their long-term sustainability ambitions.

“Additionally, this upstream investment would allow us to be less dependent on propylene market supply and demand, providing us with the opportunity to serve growing customer needs better.”

The product lines are used to produce flexible foam for mattresses, cosmetic packaging, electrical covering for 5G network infrastructure, plastic wrap for food packaging, medical syringes, vehicle bumpers, furniture upholstery and pipe for home plumbing.

The project would be able to produce 950 million pounds of goods annually. It would add more than 35% to the company’s propylene capacity at the Channelview Complex and will generate about 10-15 new jobs, the firm said.

Last month, the company and plastic scrap recycler Shakti Plastic Industries signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to form a joint venture to construct a mechanical recycling plant in India.

The plant will process rigid packaging post-consumer waste and produce 50,000 tonnes of recycled polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) annually.

Lyondell also partnered with Source One Plastics, to construct a plastic waste sorting and recycling facility in Germany.

LyondellBasell said that the energy-efficient, advanced facility will use renewable energy from wind and biomass to process the amount of plastic packaging waste produced by 1.3 million Germans each year.

The JV will offer a wide range of services, including waste procurement, sorting, and pre-treatment to produce feedstock appropriate for generating high-quality PCR material for a variety of applications.

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