Taking advantage of U.S. shale-gas economics.

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Over the next two years, new PE plants will be brought on stream by foreign companies who have sought to benefit from U.S. shale-gas economics. They are South Africa’s Sasol Chemical and Thailand’s PTT.

Sasol Chemicals North America and Ineos Olefins & Polymers USA, both Houston-based, will see their 50/50 joint venture come to fruition in the third quarter. The new plant will be operated by Ineos at LaPorte, Tex., to produce 940-million lb/yr of bimodal HDPE using Ineos’ Innovene S process.

PTTGC America LLC, a newly formed affiliate of PTT, Thailand’s largest petrochemical and refining company, recently selected Ineos’ Innovene S HDPE process for a new complex near Dilles Bottom, Ohio. Included in this project is a 2-billion lb/yr ethylene cracker and a 1.4-billion lb/yr HDPE plant with two lines that will produce a wide range of PE grades to serve growing demand in U.S. and export markets. Startup dates are not yet available but are likely to occur closer to 2017.