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Dow to expand Fort Saskatchewan ethylene plant

February 11/2020

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Dow plans to install a new furnace in its steam cracker at Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta, Canada, increasing its ethylene capacity, currently 1.42 million metric tons/year (MMt/y), by 130,000 metric tons/year, as per Chemweek.

Dow will split the cost of the project and the incremental volume equally with an unnamed regional customer, according to CEO Jim Fitterling, who announced the news this morning during the company's fourth-quarter earnings call. Start-up is slated for the first half of 2021.

"This expansion leverages our unique cost-advantaged feedstock position in western Canada," Fitterling said. "The additional ethylene will be consumed by existing polyethylene assets in the region, making the investment immediately accretive once it comes online."

Fitterling also said Dow will soon begin commissioning two new furnaces at its Texas-9 steam cracker at Freeport, Texas, with start-up planned for the middle of the second quarter. The facility's ethylene capacity, currently 1.5 MMt/y, will increase to 2 MMt/y, the largest in the world.

There are three polyethylene producers in western Canada. Dow has three linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE) lines totaling 705,000 metric tons/year of capacity at Fort Saskatchewan, and at Red Deer, Alberta, the company has a 75,000 metric tons/year LLDPE line and two high-density (HDPE) lines totaling 755,000 metric tons/year.

Nova Chemicals has four LLDPE lines totaling 1.482 MMt/y of capacity and a 50,000 metric tons/year HDPE line at Joffre, Alberta. Nova also operates two ethylene plants at Joffre, one with 810,000 metric tons/year of capacity, and another, co-owned equally with Dow, totaling 635,000 metric tons/year.

Celanese EVA Polymers has three low-density (LDPE) plants totaling 168,000 metric tons/year at Edmonton, Alberta, as well as a 105,000 metric tons/year ethylenevinyl acetate (EVA) plant.

As MRC informed before, on 9 September 2019, Dow Chemical began major maintenance on the LHC 1 cracker at Terneuzen, Netherlands. More than 1,500 extra employees from various external companies carried out maintenance work in the subsequent period.

Ethylene and propylene are feedstocks for producing polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP).

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 2,093,260 tonnes in 2019, up by 6% year on year. Shipments of all PE grades increased. PE shipments rose from both domestic producers and foreign suppliers. The estimated PP consumption in the Russian market was 1,260,400 tonnes in January-December 2019, up by 4% year on year. Supply of almost all grades of propylene polymers increased, except for statistical copolymers of propylene (PP random copolymers).

The Dow Chemical Company is an American multinational chemical corporation. Dow is a large producer of plastics, including polystyrene, polyurethane, polyethylene, polypropylene, and synthetic rubber.
Author:Margaret Volkova
Tags:PP, PE, LLDPE, PP random copolymer, propylene, HDPE, ethylene, Celanese, Dow, Nova Chemicals, Canada, Netherlands, Russia, USA.
Category:General News
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