Chemicals and polymers maker
) has secured a major permit needed for its North American
ethylene expansion program. The Netherlands-based company said
that it has received a final greenhouse gas permit from the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for its Corpus Christi
project in Texas.
The permit, issued on Apr 16, represents the first to be
drafted by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ)
and issued by the EPA under a new program aimed at improving
permitting efficiency and productivity for applicants in
The multi-plant ethylene expansion program, which started last
year, represents a total investment of roughly $1.3 billion in
LyondellBasell's Channelview, La Porte and Corpus Christi, TX
facilities which benefit from shale gas production.
The expansion program, when in full swing, is expected to
expand annual ethylene capacity by an estimated 1.85 billion
pounds for an aggregate projected capacity of 11.8 billion pounds
in North America.
With the receipt of the required permit, LyondellBasell
expects its ethylene expansion program to be fully operational by
end-2015. Necessary plant modification works are currently in
progress at the La Porte facility with an expected completion in
the summer of 2014.
Moreover, start-up at the Channelview facility has been
planned for early next year. The company expects construction at
the Corpus Christi plant to commence during second-half 2014 with
a start-up expected in late 2015.
LyondellBasell saw a roughly 5% rise in its consolidated
profit in first-quarter 2014 as it recorded gains across most of
its business segments. The improvement came despite headwinds
from weather-related raw material cost volatility and shipping
LyondellBasell is executing its expansion projects to leverage
the U.S. natural gas liquids advantage. The company restarted its
methanol plant at Channelview, TX, in fourth-quarter 2013 to
benefit from low-cost natural gas from shale formations. The
facility had been out of operation since 2004 as a result of
rising natural gas costs.
The methanol facility along with the company's other major
expansion projects are expected to bring in new capacity at
considerably lower cost than building new facilities.
LyondellBasell is a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) stock.
Other companies in the chemical industry worth considering
Compass Minerals International Inc.
Eastman Chemical Co.
Kronos Worldwide, Inc.
). While Compass Minerals carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy),
both Eastman Chemical and Kronos Worldwide hold a Zacks Rank #2
COMPASS MINERLS (CMP): Free Stock Analysis
EASTMAN CHEM CO (EMN): Free Stock Analysis
KRONOS WORLDWD (KRO): Free Stock Analysis
LYONDELLBASEL-A (LYB): Free Stock Analysis
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