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12/18/2016 | 1 MINUTE READ

Ineos Acquires HDPE Pipe Maker

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WL Plastics is one of the largest HDPE pipe producers in North America.

Ineos Olefins & Polymers, League City, Texas, has acquired one of largest HDPE pipe manufacturers in North America, WL Plastics of Fort Worth, Texas, with production facilities in Kentucky, South Dakota, Utah, Texas, and Wyoming, along with a new facility under construction in Georgia. With over 500 million lb of annual production capacity, WL provides HDPE pipe to oil, gas, industrial, mining, conduit, and municipal water and sewer markets.

Ineos, now the third largest North American HDPE and PP supplier, is one of several PE producers planning to bring on major new capacity. Its 50-50 joint-venture plant with Sasol, planned for startup in La Porte, Texas, by year’s end, will produce 940 million lb/yr of HDPE using Ineos’ Innovene S bimodal slurry technology. The Ineos La Porte site already produces 1.3 billion/lb of PE.

In past decades, companies such as Phillips and Chevron had their own downstream HDPE pipe operations, as did Occidental with PVC pipe. Perhaps this recent move by Ineos signals a returning industry trend toward downstream operations for resin producers. Within recent years, moves of a similar kind include companies such as PolyOne Corp., Cleveland, which acquired Spartech Corp., the leading producer of custom plastic sheet and rollstock in 2013. This year, PolyOne also bought two Colorado-based composites businesses—Gordon Composites and Polystrand. Another example is Victrex, West Conshohocken, Pa., the PEEK resin producer, which last year acquired Kleiss Gears, a Grantsburg, Wis., molder of PEEK gears.