Williams’ Board of Directors has approved an expansion of its Geismar olefins production facility. The expansion will increase the facility's ethylene production capacity by 600 mln lbs pa to annual capacity of 1.95 bln lbs. It is expected to be placed into service in Q3-2013. The expected capital spending on the expansion is US$350-400 mln in 2012-13.
"The shale gas revolution in the United States, coupled with continued strong crude oil prices, has given U.S. based ethylene manufacturing a tremendous cost advantage over many other supply regions," said Rory Miller, president of Williams' midstream business. "The results are a revitalized North American petrochemical business and a U.S. ethylene market short of supply. "This expansion will serve petrochemical companies by adding 600 mln pounds per year of new ethylene supply to the market," Miller said. "It will also add to Williams' growing large-scale infrastructure serving the petrochemical industry in the Gulf Coast region and help balance our lengthening ethane position."
Located south of Baton Rouge, La., the Geismar facility is a light-end natural gas liquid (NGL) cracker with current volumes of 37,000 bpd of ethane and 3,000 bpd of propane and annual production of 1.35 bln lbs of ethylene. The facility also produces propylene, butadiene and debutanized aromatic concentrate (DAC). Williams owns 83.3% of the Geismar facility and operates the plant.