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US ethylene capacity could increase by 4%

March 29/2011

(ICIS) -- US ethylene capacity could increase by 4% if Chevron Phillips Chemical moves forward with a plan to build a new steam cracker in the US Gulf, a market source said on Monday. The planned unit could have as much as 1m tonnes/year of capacity, the source said on the sidelines of the International Petrochemical Conference (IPC) in San Antonio. US ethylene capacity is estimated at around 27m tonnes/year.

Chevron Phillips Chemical on Monday announced it was conducting a feasibility study to build a cracker, saying that it would be a world-scale unit using ethane as a feedstock. The new facility will utilise the advantaged feed sources expected from development of shale gas reserves, the company said.

The companys feasibility study is expected to be complete by the end of 2011. If Chevron Phillips Chemical decides to go ahead with the project it would likely take around 3-4 years to finish construction and bring the unit online, the source said.

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