Sasol’s Lake Charles complex nearing completion; Pre-construction activities begin at LNG Canada site; LyondellBasell breaks ground on $2.4 bn Texas chemicals complex

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Ethylene Oxide and Ethylene Glycol units at Sasol’s Lake Charles Chemicals Complex. Image: Sasol

Sasol’s Lake Charles project nearly complete

Sasol’s Lake Charles Chemicals Project (LCCP) is 88% complete, on schedule, and costing $11.13 bn, the company said in its earnings statements.

The complex’s cracker, first polymer unit and ethylene oxide/ethylene glycol facility are on track to start up in the fourth quarter of 2018, the company said.

Sasol previously raised the cost estimate for the project from $8.9 bn to more than $11 bn in 2016 because of high labor costs and weather disruptions.

So far $9.8 bn of the of the $11.13 bn project cost has been invested, Sasol said.

US natural gas pipeline exports increase to Mexico -EIA

U.S. natural gas pipeline exports to Mexico have been increasing following expansions of cross-border pipeline capacity, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said.

These exports averaged 4.2 billion cubic feet per day (BcF/day) in 2017 and 4.4 BcF/day through the first five months of 2018. Natural gas exports to Mexico by pipeline exceeded 5 BcF/day for the first time in July 2018, after the commissioning of several key pipelines in Mexico.

By the end of 2018, an additional four of six major pipelines identified as strategic in Mexico’s five-year natural gas infrastructure expansion plan are scheduled to begin commercial operations.

These newly commissioned pipelines will transport U.S. natural gas farther into Mexico’s central and southern regions and provide an additional outlet for constrained Permian production in western Texas.

Vessels arrive to start pre-construction work for LNG Canada

LGN Canada posted on Twitter on August 21, "The first barge is safely offloaded from the Transhelf Heavy lift vessel in a beautiful Kitimat harbour. Four more to go."

A heavy lift vessel carrying barges for LNG Canada pre-construction work arrived in Kitimat harbour this week.

Kitimat Harbour, British Columbia, at the head of Douglas Channel, is the site chosen for LNG Canada, a $40 bn massive liquified natural gas (LNG) terminal.

While a final investment decision (FID), has yet to be made, site work is underway to keep the project on schedule should it go ahead. An FID is expected by year end.

The newly arrived vessel carried equipment required for dredging in order to prepare the existing port for larger vessels.

LNG Canada told reporters it needs to take advantage of a period of limited fish migration during the summer to complete the work.

LyondellBasell breaks ground on $2.4 bn Texas chemicals complex

LyondellBasell began construction on its $2.4 bn Texas plant in Channelview on August 23.

The plant will produce propylene oxide (PO) and tertiary butyl alcohol (TBA), chemicals used in either polyurethane foam or high-octane gasoline.

Construction is expected to be complete in 2021.

The plant will be the largest of its kind in the world and is LyondellBasell’s most expensive project to date.

The products made at the complex will be sold domestically and in the export market.

PO is used for products such as seat cushions, mattresses and insulation.

TBA will be converted to two ether-based octane enhancers, methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) and ethyl tertiary butyl ether (ETBE), most of which will be destined for export markets.

The project is one of several LyondellBasell projects planned for the U.S. Gulf Coast in the coming years.

Enterprise and American Midstream to optimize Gulf Coast assets

Enterprise Products Partners L.P. and American Midstream Partners, LP announced they have entered into an agreement under which American Midstream may elect to purchase a 25% interest in Enterprise’s Pascagoula natural gas processing plant in Mississippi.

The purchase option is subject to certain conditions, including American Midstream completing modifications to certain facilities on its High Point pipeline system that will provide incremental natural gas volumes with access to the Pascagoula plant.

American Midstream’s High Point pipeline system currently delivers offshore natural gas production to the Enterprise-operated Toca Gas Plant in St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana for processing services. 

As the result of the pending modifications to the High Point facilities, the Toca plant owners have voted to discontinue operations. 

Enterprise, along with other Toca plant owners, expect to realize significant operating expense savings from idling the Toca facility and utilizing existing processing capacity at the more efficient Pascagoula plant.