09/24/2015 - Press release

Total Launches FEED for a 2nd Steam Cracker at its Port Arthur Complex

HOUSTON (September 23, 2015) - Total has decided to launch front end engineering and design (FEED) for the construction of a second integrated steam cracker at its Port Arthur complex in Texas. With a capacity of 1 million tons of ethylene a year, the planned ethane side cracker is expected to start up in 2019, subject to a final investment decision in 2016.

"This project is aligned with our strategy to strengthen our major integrated refining and petrochemical platforms worldwide", commented Philippe Sauquet, President of Total Refining & Chemicals. "In the United States, we want to capitalize on the shale gas revoulution during which gas prices have plunged 66%. In such an environment, the advantage to investing in petrochemical activities is access to a plentiful, inexpensive feedstock and to low-cost energy for our plants."

The Port Arthur refining and petrochemical complex is one of total's six major integrated platforms worldwide. It is comprised of a refinery wholly owned by Total and a petrochemical plant operated by a joint venture between BASF (60%) and Total (40%).

In 2013, BASF and Total revamped the Port Arthur steam cracker to primiarily process ethane and butane, instead of more expensive naphtha, which is derived from petroleum. In tandem with the steam cracker already in operation, the new side cracker would optimize synergies with the existing facilities.

Total is in talks with potential co-venturers for the planned side cracker.