Total-Borealis-Nova JV Breaks Ground on Texas Ethane Cracker

Total-Borealis-Nova JV Breaks Ground on Texas Ethane Cracker
The $1.7 billion project should create more than 1,500 jobs.

Bayport Polymers LLC (Bay-Pol), a joint venture (JV) of Total S.A. and the Borealis AG-NOVA Chemicals Inc. JV Novealis Holdings LLC, has officially broken ground on a new $1.7 billion ethane steam cracker in Port Arthur, Texas, Total announced Monday.

“This is an important milestone for our new company,” Bay-Pol President Diane Chamberlain said in a written statement. “The power of partnership demonstrated here today firmly positions Bay-Pol to deliver innovative products and applications to new and existing customers, while reinforcing our position in an increasingly competitive polyethylene market.”

Bernard Pinatel, president of Total’s Refining & Chemicals unit, said the project aligns with “Total’s strategy to expand in petrochemicals by leveraging our integrated platforms like Port Arthur and taking advantage of the abundance of ethane in the U.S.”

Borealis Chief Executive Mark Garrett called the Port Arthur cracker facility is a “key growth initiative” for his company.

“Our partnership with Total and NOVA Chemicals will position us as a leader in the U.S. and allow us to deploy sophisticated with our partners,” added Garrett.

NOVA’s CEO Todd Karran observed the new facility will help his company better serve its customers in the Americas.

“The ethane steam cracker … will help us gain additional access to the U.S. Gulf Coast,” Karran said.

Bay-Pol is building the 1 million ton per year ethane cracker alongside Total’s Port Arthur Refinery and the Total-BASF steam cracker. McDermott International, Inc. provided front-end engineering and design (FEED) services for the project and is handling engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) work for the cracker.

"Bay-Pol and its members licensed our technology and selected us to undertake the FEED for this project, and now we are providing full EPC as well as supplying our proprietary (pyrolysis) heaters," said Richard Heo, McDermott's senior vice president for North, Central and South America, in a separate written statement from his company.

Total said that it expects approximately 1,500 jobs to be created during engineering and construction. Once the facility starts up in 2020, it should support roughly 60 full-time jobs, the company added.

Bay-Pol has also proposed building a 625,000 ton per year polyethylene unit at Total’s existing PE facility in Bayport, Texas, but Total pointed out that project awaits a final investment decision.


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