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Baystar Starts its New Polyethylene Plant in Pasadena, TX Utilizing its Borstar Technology
October 03, 2023

BAYSTAR has commissioned its new Bay 3 Polyethylene (PE) unit located in Pasadena, TX with an annual capacity of 1.4 billion pounds, more than doubling the facility's potential resin output. This unit utilizes the innovative Borstar technology from Borealis, it's the first of its kind in North America. This technology offers unique production adaptability for a wide range of tailor-made products, known for their enhanced durability, flexibility, and efficiency without depending on process aids or additional additives. The resin is also PFAS-free and promotes sustainability by incorporating over 50% post-consumer recycled content in specific applications.

Diane Chamberlain, President of Baystar, shared her excitement, saying, "This significant development marks a turning point in PE production. With Borstar technology leading the way, we're set to reshape industry benchmarks, delivering custom products that align with evolving customer demands and market dynamics."

Baystar was established in 2018 through a partnership between Novealis (NOVA Chemicals and Borealis JV) and TotalEnergies, and operates independently. The Baystar facility began construction in 2019 and the company reached a pivotal moment in 2022 when it commissioned its massive Ethane cracker in Port Arthur, Texas, with annual Ethylene capacity of 2.2 billion pounds. This marked a major milestone as it enabled full production integration by supplying the essential Ethylene feedstock to Baystar's trio of Polyethylene production units.

The past two years have witnessed several other noteworthy Polyethylene startups. In early 2022, Gulf Coast Growth Ventures, a collaboration between ExxonMobil and SABIC, launched a PE plant in Portland, Texas with annual capacity of 2.9 billion pounds. In late 2022, Shell Polymers initiated its new PE plant in Monaca, Pennsylvania with annual capacity of 3.5 billion pounds. NOVA is set to commence its new Rokeby facility in Ontario, Canada, boasting annual PE capacity of 1 billion pounds, by the end of 2023. Collectively, these four ventures will contribute nearly 9 billion pounds per year of fresh PE capacity to North America.

This series of new facilities is just the latest group of Polyethylene expansion seen in North America during the last decade. North American Polyethylene producers primarily derive their Ethylene feedstocks from less expensive Ethane as compared to their international counterparts who generally produce their Ethylene feedstocks from more expensive Crude Oil / Naphtha. This considerable cost-advantage has enabled the development of these capital-intensive Petrochemical complexes and the majority of the new Polyethylene production is targeted for export sales.

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