Sasol said some units at its $8 billion ethane cracker now under construction in Calcasieu Parish will open in 2019, a year later than planned, because of a drop in profits brought on by low oil prices.
David Constable, Sasol CEO, told Bloomberg Business on Monday the South African chemical company is reviewing the costs and timing associated with the Calcasieu facility. The review should be completed by midyear.
“There shouldn’t be a further slip unless we need to conserve more cash on the project and I don’t foresee that,” he told the news service.
The ethane cracker complex will include six chemical manufacturing plants, to be built near Sasol’s existing Westlake facilities. The units that will be delayed convert ethane into plastics and other products.
The facility will produce about 1.5 million tons of ethylene per year used in the six chemical plants to produce derivatives used in making products such as synthetic fibers, detergents, fragrances, paints, film and packaging.
Sasol announced in January 2015 it is delaying a final investment decision on a $14 billion gas-to-liquids plant at Westlake to conserve cash in response to lower oil prices. Constable told Bloomberg Business that gas-to-liquid plants have potential when oil prices rebound. The company said it expects oil prices to remain in the $25 to $40 a barrel range.