Indian American CEO of LyondellBasell to build largest alcohol plant

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NEW YORK – Indian American Bhavesh (Bob) V Patel, CEO of Petrochemical giant LyondellBasell, is planning to build the world’s largest propylene oxide and tertiary butyl alcohol plant in the Houston area where the Netherlands-based company has its operational headquarters.

“This world-scale project is a key part of our organic growth strategy which is designed to meet rising global demand for both urethanes and cleaner-burning oxyfuels while creating real, long-term value for our shareholders,” Patel told PTI.

“Our investment in this plant combines the best of both worlds: our leading PO/TBA process technology with proximity to low-cost feedstocks, which gives LyondellBasell a competitive advantage in the global marketplace for these products,” Patel added.

The $2.4 billion project, which will start in the second half of 2018 and end by the middle of 2021, is part of the company’s $5 billion investment in the US Gulf Coast and is expected to create as many as 2,500 jobs at the peak of construction and about 160 regular jobs once it is built.

“We are pleased that LyondellBasell continues to view the Houston area as important to their global operations, creating jobs and opportunities for Houstonians,” Bob Harvey, president and CEO of the Greater Houston Partnership.

“This new project further advances Houston’s position as a global hub of petrochemical manufacturing, leveraging Houston’s strategic access to the Americas and top markets around the world,” Harvey added.

Each year, the main plant is expected to produce about 1 billion pounds of propylene oxide (PO), which is used to make bedding, furniture, carpeting, coatings, building materials and adhesives, and 2.2 billion pounds of tertiary butyl alcohol (TBA), which is converted into two ether-based oxyfuels which help gasoline burn cleaner.

Reports said the PO and derivative products will be sold to domestic and global customers while the oxyfuels will mainly go to Latin America and Asia with a portion remaining in the US to be used in tires and lubricants.

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