Axiall, Lotte to partner on Louisiana cracker joint venture

22:28 PM | February 10, 2014 | Clay Boswell

Axiall (Atlanta) and Lotte Chemical (Seoul) say they have signed a preliminary agreement to pursue a 50/50 joint venture for the construction of a 1 million m.t./year ethane cracker in Louisiana. The project, which Axiall first announced on 19 December, is the tenth new cracker proposed or under construction in North America (see table).

The partners expect to award jointly a front-end engineering design (FEED) contract for the cracker during the first quarter. Lotte Chemical would also begin a FEED study for a wholly owned monoethylene glycol plant located adjacent to the potential cracker. Both plants could begin commercial operation in 2018 if the projects are approved by each company’s board of directors.

“As part of Axiall’s long-term growth strategy, we believe it is important we have further integration with cost-based economics on 50% of our annual ethylene requirements,” says Paul Carrico, Axiall president and CEO.

“We are pleased to enter this partnership with Axiall to develop a world-scale ethane cracker fed by US shale gas,” says Soo Young Huh, president and CEO of Lotte Chemical. “This investment will build on Lotte Chemical’s global ethylene construction and operating capabilities and increase our manufacturing presence in the North American market.”