Petrochemicals company Sasol on Monday said the new ethylene oxide/ethylene glycol (EO/EG) production facility at its Lake Charles Chemicals Project (LCCP), in Louisiana, in the US, had reached beneficial operation.
The EO/EG unit is the second of seven LCCP production facilities to come on stream.
"The LCCP continues to transform North America into a major part of Sasol's global business, delivering value for all Sasol's stakeholders," said Sasol operations executive VP Bernard Klingenberg.
"Our team of Sasol employees, contractors and industry partners continue to deliver the LCCP with the start-up of our second process unit . . . We are working diligently to deliver the remaining five LCCP manufacturing units throughout 2019 and early 2020,” he added.
EO production plays an important role in Sasol’s alcohol and surfactants growth strategy, said chemicals business executive VP Fleetwood Grobler.
“It also enables us to produce ethylene glycols using our world-class manufacturing capability and leveraging the expertise and global reach of our marketing partner Helm. Together, these products will create significant value for our customers."
EO is used as a raw material to produce surfactants – the active ingredient in many household and industrial cleaners. EG is used to make polyester fiber for clothes, upholstery and carpet, as well as automotive engine antifreeze and coolant.
The unit has a nameplate capacity of 300 000 t/y of EO.
The EO/EG plant will also supply EO as a feedstock for Sasol's existing 130 000 t/y ethoxylates unit, as well as the 100 000 t/y LCCP ethoxylates plant that is currently under construction.
Beneficial operation of the new ethoxylates unit is expected by the end of this calendar year.
Sasol last month revealed that the capital cost of the LCCP had increased by between $1-billion and $1.3-billion to between $12.6-billion and $12.9-billion as a result of oversights in how an earlier estimate had been calculated, as well as additional events and remaining work.
In 2014, the project had been estimated to cost $8.9-billion to complete.