In March 2017 TOTAL announced a US$ 1.7 billion investment to expand Total’s petrochemicals activities in Texas. Partnering with Borealis and NOVA Chemicals, with TOTAL having a 50% stake the aim is to build an Ethan Cracker and a new Polyethylene unit on the US Gulf Coast. The new 1 Mt/y ethane cracker broke ground in June 2018 and are approaching commissioning in early 2019. The cracker is being built at Total’s 225,500 barrel per day (bpd) Port Arthur, Texas, refinery and alongside a joint-venture steam cracker owned by Total and BASF. First production is being projected for 2020 and the ethylene produced will be sent to the 400,000 ton per year polyethylene plant in Bayport, Texas.
Total wants to add a further 625,000 tons per year in capacity to the Bayport plant.
The new cracker will create around 1,500 jobs during peak engineering and construction activity. The engineering, procurement and construction contract (EPC) of the ethane steam cracker has been awarded by Total to CB&I.