Chevron Phillips will expand ethylene production at Sweeny complex

Chevron Phillips Chemical said Monday it will expand ethylene production by 200 million pounds by next year with the construction of a tenth furnace at its Sweeny complex.

The new furnace at the complex in Old Ocean, in Brazoria County, also will lower emissions, according to the company’s announcement. Construction is expected to begin within the next quarter, with startup expected in 2014.

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“This furnace addition will provide additional ethylene supply to meet the growing global demand to better serve our customers and provide additional supply prior to starting up our proposed U.S. Gulf Coast petrochemicals project in 2017,” Dave Smith, the company’s olefins and natural gas liquids vice president, said in a statement.

That project is the company’s plan to build an ethane cracker at its Cedar Bayou plant in Baytown, as well as two polyethylene units in Old Ocean.

The Sweeny complex can produce more than 11 million pounds of ethylene per day, or about 4.1 billion pounds a year, according to Chevron Phillips, a joint venture of Phillips 66 and Chevron.