The Performance Products division of Huntsman Corp. has begun construction on a $150 million project to expand ethylene oxide (EO) manufacturing capacity at its Port Neches, Texas, facility. President and CEO Peter Huntsman, Huntsman Performance Products President Stu Monteith and Vice President of Operations Janice Latz, and numerous local elected officials attended a groundbreaking event in late October.
This expansion will add a third EO unit to the facility, increasing EO capacity by more than 25 percent, or 265 million pounds per year. With an existing EO production capacity of 1 billion pounds annually, Huntsman is currently the second largest EO producer in the United States. Upon completion of the expansion, the plant will be the largest single-site producer of EO in North America.
“This additional EO capacity will benefit our customers through increased security of supply from a well-located, cost-competitive Huntsman manufacturing plant,” said Monteith.
The expansion project is expected to add 325 local contractor jobs during the construction phase. Upon completion, this project is expected to add 10 full-time positions to Huntsman’s staff and an additional five to 10 contractor positions located on site. The EO unit is currently slated for start-up in the second quarter of 2015.
Huntsman purchased this EO unit from a Beaumont, Texas-based ethylene glycol producer after the unit was flooded during Hurricane Ike in 2008. After performing extensive engineering assessments and EHS due diligence, Huntsman dismantled the unit and transported the components down the Neches River by barge for installation at its Port Neches facility. The acquisition enables Huntsman to expand its EO capacity quickly and cost effectively, compared to a traditional “greenfield” approach.
For more information, visit www.huntsman.com/performance_products or call Anne Knisely at (281) 719-4072.