LyondellBasell announced the signing of agreements with TexStar MidStream Services, LP under which TexStar will install two natural gas liquids (NGL) fractionation units adjacent to the Corpus Christi, Texas, plant of LyondellBasell affiliate Equistar Chemicals LP. The fractionation units will be capable of processing a combined 63,000 bpd of NGLs produced from the Eagle Ford shale into ethane, propane, butanes and natural gasoline. Equistar will operate the fractionators for TexStar and will provide various utilities to the facility from its adjacent Corpus Christi olefins facility. In addition, Equistar will purchase ethane and propane produced from the units under a long-term agreement. The NGLs will be used as feedstocks for Equistar's olefins unit to produce ethylene and propylene.
The fractionators will be located on a 40-acre site owned by Equistar and leased to TexStar. Construction will commence in April 2013 with startup projected for late 2013.
"The fractionation facilities will enable us to diversify and increase our NGL feedstock supply from nearby shale formations in the region in advance of our upcoming capacity expansion at Corpus Christi, and provides TexStar the benefit of our existing infrastructure at the site," said LyondellBasell CEO Jim Gallogly. "This is another example of a project that can bring efficiency and value and be quickly implemented to take advantage of low-cost natural gas and NGLs in North America," Gallogly said. The company recently announced plans to expand ethylene capacity at Corpus Christi by 800 million pounds per year.