Skip to comments.Valero to build $700M Gulf Coast petrochemical plant
Posted on 07/11/2013 1:06:14 PM PDT by thackney
Valero Energy Corp. plans to become a major player in the production of petrochemicals by building a $700 million methanol plant at its St. Charles refinery near New Orleans, a spokesman said Thursday.
Valero will take advantage of low-cost natural gas from shale formations such as the Eagle Ford to produce methanol, used to make a range of products such as plastics, textiles, solvents and paint.
Natural gas is used in the production of methanol.
The time is ripe for expansion into petrochemicals because the market for them is growing faster than the fuels market, Valero spokesman Bill Day said.
This is the first thing well build, but it probably wont be the last, he said. Valero, the nations largest independent refiner, plans to sell the methanol it produces to any of the big petrochemical companies or industries, Day said.
Many petrochemical companies now must import methanol so we could provide a domestic source, helping them push out imports, he said.
The methanol plant, to be completed in late 2015 or early 2016, will produce 1.6 million tons per year.
Because Valero has added two hydrogen units at its St. Charles plant that can be used to produce the methanol, the cost of building the plant is significantly reduced, Day said.
The hydrogen units were added at the plant as part of Valeros $1.5 billion addition of a hydrocracker to boost production of diesel fuel, a high-margin product.
Valero now produces the petrochemicals benzene, toluene and xylene, but production from the planned methanol plant would dwarf the companys present petrochemical production.
Last month, Valero completed a $413 million plant at the St. Charles refinery to produce renewable diesel fuel from fat, in a venture known as Diamond Green Diesel LLC.
We really need refineries away from the NOLA area.
None are close to the city. If you are referring to the danger from hurricanes, do you remember any refinry calamities from the numerous hurricanes that hit the Gulf Coast over the years?
The fact remains that if it were not for domestic energy, unemployment would be over 10% and GDP would be negative.
they receive damage by hurricanes that requires repair, they are shut down in advance and afterwards, and generally depending on the time of the year it results in about a 20% price increase on gas, nationally.
Are you thinking of offshore platforms?
A 20% increase in the national price of gasoline? Care to site what year you thought that happened?
i saw our prices go up that much around katrina.
Weekly U.S. All Grades All Formulations Retail Gasoline Prices
Warning: foul language
Katrina came on land Monday, August 29 in southeast Louisiana.
We had far more impacts due to shutdowns in the oil supply, both offshore platforms and delay’s in shipping than we had from refinery damage.
i can’t tell which one is 2005 there are too many greyish ones that look the same.
even so even if’ it’s 10-20% so be it. I live in an area with epa-mandated crap gas and when the refineries that make our gas are down for maintenance even though they budget for it, the formulation swapovers (summer/winter blends) twice a year cause price jumps because supply is less than demand. maybe it’s because they don’t allocate enough refineries for our area’s gas needs but still we see a noticeable price change at the pump. it may go down but it almost never goes lower than it was before.
What area are you in?
midwest, southeast wisconsin area
I doubt you ever receive gasoline refined in the New Orleans area.
Probably right, but that didn’t mean some of our stock here didn’t get diverted elsewere.
The EPA really limits the ability to do that with all the different fuel requirements.
There was impact, but you should understand it was mostly a loss in the oil supply chain, not as much the refining capacity.
This Valero facility is actually on the Mississippi River, west and a bit north of the city. I don't see any problems with the location.