Louisiana Ethane Cracker Project Receives Air Permit

Thailand-based Indorama Ventures Public Co. Ltd. (IVL) stated Monday that U.S. authorities have granted an air permit for its majority-owned cracker plant near Lake Charles, La., that will produce ethylene from shale gas.

In September 2015, the State of Louisiana announced that IVL had acquired a dormant ethane cracker and approximately 250 acres west of Lake Charles and would invest $175 million to renovate and restart the facility. Acquiring the air permit allows IVL to proceed with refurbishing the cracker, and repair and construction activities will start a month earlier than anticipated, the company said Monday. In June of this year, the project received a water permit that allows the facility to discharge liquid effluent through its waste-water treatment plant, added IVL.

The company also reported the project has completed de-bottlenecking and related engineering and has ordered all its major long-lead-time equipment. IVL stated that it expects mechanical completion to conclude in the third quarter of 2017 and commissioning and startup the following quarter.

The project will create 125 direct jobs, with an average annual salary of $50,000, as well as 481 new indirect jobs and up to 600 construction jobs, according to the 2015 project announcement by Louisiana Economic Development.