Petrochemical Corridor Attracts Investment
The price advantage of US-produced ethane, used in plastics manufacturing, over naptha is a key factor. Naptha is derived from petroleum, which is more expensive.
More than $90 billion of new plants and plant expansions are planned or under construction in the petrochemical belt that stretches from the Upper Texas Coast to New Orleans.
Foreign investors include South Africa-based Sasol, which is building a $5 billion ethane cracker to split ethane into component parts in Louisiana, and a $14 billion gas-to-liquids plant, which will convert natural gas into diesel and other products.
In February 2012, Taiwan-based Formosa announced plans to build a $1.7 billion expansion of its Point Comfort plastic plant. Linde Group, a Germany-based industrial gas producer, plans a $200 million investment in new equipment for its plant in La Porte.
New plants and expansions will increase the capacity of the petrochemical industry 33 percent by 2017, according to a December report by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
U.S. companies, including Dow Chemical, Exxon Mobil Corp. and Chevron Phillips Chemical, also have been motivated by lower natural gas prices, and are making multibillion dollar investments in new and upgraded facilities.
Photo: Roy Luck Flickr photostream
Stay Up-to-Date On Environmental Management, Energy & Sustainability News with EL's Free Daily Newsletter
Energy Manager News
- Energy Storage in the Fast Lane
- Alberta Firm Aims for Energy Neutral Egg Laying Barn
- The Department of Energy Seeks to Improve the Better Buildings Challenge
- Behind the Meter: The Many Advantages of Energy Benchmarking
- Telecommunications Companies Upgrade Their Approaches to Energy
- Cutting Energy Use in Fire Stations
- Revolution Lighting Signs School Districts in NY, NJ
- Green Building Boom Is Pumping Billions into US Economy, Retrofits Are Fueling the Trend