Tulsa, Okla.-based Williams plans to expand its Geismar olefins production facility, adding 600 million pounds of ethylene production at a cost of $350 million to $400 million in 2012-2013.
The expansion is expected to be complete and in service in the third quarter of 2013.
“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,” Rory Miller, president of Williams’ midstream business, said in a news release. “The results are a revitalized North American petrochemical business and a U.S. ethylene market short of supply.”
The Geismar facility is a light-end natural gas liquid cracker with current volumes of 37,000 barrels per day of ethane and 3,000 bpd of propane and annual production of 1.35 billion pounds of ethylene. The facility also produces propylene, butadiene — used in making synthetic rubber — and debutanized aromatic concentrate. Williams owns 83.3 percent of the Geismar facility and operates the plant.
Ethylene is used in making polyester, polyvinyl chloride, and resins and coatings used in packaging, electronics and adhesives.