A new polyethylene (PE) manufacturing facility to be built in North Dakota, at an estimated US$4 billion, has been announced. This will be the largest private sector investment made in state history. The value-added manufacturing facility will use North Dakota's abundant supply of natural gas liquid ("NGL") sourced ethane gas coming out of the Williston Basin as a byproduct of oil production. The project will significantly reduce the amount of natural gas flared into the atmosphere, which has been a critical area of focus for State and industry leaders. The Badlands facility will convert the ethane to polyethylene, with ability to produce 1.5 mln metric tpa of polyethylene.
To bring this world-scale plant to fruition, Badlands is working with two strategic partners, Tecnicas Reunidas (TR) which is based in Madrid, Spain, as well as Vinmar Projects of Houston, Texas. TR, one of the largest petrochemicals and polymers contractors in the world, is completing a preliminary engineering analysis for Badlands. This work is scheduled for completion in 2014 and will include completion of technology evaluations and ethane to ethylene and ethylene to PE licensor selection, ethane aggregation engineering and planning and final site selection. Vinmar provides long term product off-take services in support of project finance for the development partners. Vinmar and Badlands have signed a mutually binding, 15-year product off-take Memorandum of Understanding for 100% of the PE product to be produced by the Badlands project.