Ineos to expand Texas petrochemical plant

Britain's richest person Jim Ratcliffe, the founder of the INEOS Chemicals company, is interviewed by The Associated Press in April 2019. Ineos announced its expanding its operations in the Middle East with a $2 billion investment and partnership with Saudi Aramco and the French oil major Total SA.
Britain's richest person Jim Ratcliffe, the founder of the INEOS Chemicals company, is interviewed by The Associated Press in April 2019. Ineos announced its expanding its operations in the Middle East with a $2 billion investment and partnership with Saudi Aramco and the French oil major Total SA.

The petrochemical giant owned by Britain’s richest man Jim Ratcliffe  is expanding its Chocolate Bayou chemical plant in Texas to tap into a fast-growing ethylene oxide market.

Ineos Oxide, a subsidiary of London-based Ineos, will build a new 1.2 billion pound (about 520,000 metric tons) ethylene oxide unit and associated ethylene oxide derivatives unit at its Chocolate Bayou plant in Alvin, Texas south of Houston, the company recently announced.

Ethylene oxide is used to make ethylene glycol, which is used to make  polyester fiber for clothes, upholstery, carpet and pillows and the blending of automotive engine antifreeze.

In March Ineos said it would doubled the size of the planned project to meet growing demand. The project would be operational sometime in 2023.

There is more land close to the new units that will enable third parties to co-locate and use ethylene oxide by pipeline, the company said in a July 2 release. The company said the project “will reinforce on-site integration to the benefit of both the crackers and the derivative assets.”

Ineos is rapidly growing the Chocolate Bayou facility, which already has two olefin crackers, two polypropylene units and two cogen facilities.

The company also is building a new linear alpha olefins unit and associated poly alpha olefins unit a the Chocolate Bayou site. It’s also considering expanding its alkoxylation (Alkox) capacity there, according to Chapter 313 documents filed with the Texas Comptroller’s office. However it’s not clear yet whether the company has given the green light yet on that alkox project.

Alvin isn’t the only place where Ineos is expanding in Texas. A subsidiary of the company applied for Chapter 313 tax incentives earlier this year on a new $803 million expansion of its La Porte chemical plant.

The proposed La Porte project includes construction of a 850,000 metric ton ethylbenzene /styrene unit. The project could create 1,500 construction jobs and 25 permanent jobs in the La Porte – Deer Park area, according to its application for tax incentives published online June 4.

The full version of this article first appeared on the Houston Chronicle – an Energy Voice content partner. For more from the Houston Chronicle click here.

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