LyondellBasell Breaks Ground on the World’s Largest PO/TBA Plant


LyondellBasell broke ground on what will be the largest propylene oxide (PO) and tertiary butyl alcohol (TBA) plant ever built. The $2.4-B project represents the single-largest capital investment in the company’s history. Once operations begin in 2021, the facility will be able to produce 470,000 tpy of PO and 1 MMtpy of TBA.


“Today’s groundbreaking is an historic moment for our company,” said Bob Patel, CEO of LyondellBasell. “This plant will be the largest of its kind, built to meet the rising global demand for urethanes used by billions of consumers each day and clean-burning oxyfuels that will help improve air quality around the world.”


To optimize product balances and realize synergies between LyondellBasell sites, two facilities will be constructed on existing manufacturing sites. The 140-acre PO/TBA plant will be built at the LyondellBasell Channelview Complex located in Channelview, Texas while an associated 34-acre ethers unit, which will convert TBA to oxyfuels, will be built at the company’s Bayport Complex in Pasadena, Texas. 


During peak construction, the PO/TBA project will create more than 2,200 construction jobs. Once in operation, the facility is estimated to generate more than $453 MM in tax benefits. The capital-intensive project will require:

·         13,000 t of steel

·         160 mi of pipe

·         800 pieces of equipment

·         830 mi of cable types

·         88,000 cubic yards of concrete

·         9,200 instruments.

The capital-intensive PO/TBA project is part of LyondellBasell’s $5-B investment plan to increase downstream processing capacity along the US Gulf Coast (USGC). LyondellBasell has already completed ethylene expansion projects at the company’s Channelview, Corpus Christi and La Porte sites, which increased the company’s ethylene production capacity by 900,000 tpy. At present, the company is building a new polyethylene (PE) plant in La Porte. The new PE plant, which will begin operations in 2019, will utilize the company’s proprietary Hyperzone PE technology to more than double the facility’s PE production to 900,000 tpy.