By: Frank Esposito
November 8, 2013
Shale gas is bringing more polypropylene resin to the North American market in the form of almost 600 million pounds of new capacity from Rextac LLC in Odessa, Texas.
Rextac will add that capacity by re-opening a dormant PP line at the site and by building a new PP train as well, president Nick Fowler said in a Nov. 8 phone interview. The firm also will add almost 700 million pounds of capacity for propylene monomer by building a propane dehydrogenation (PDH) unit.
Privately owned Rextac is expected to spend about $700 million on the projects, which will create 155 permanent jobs and numerous temporary construction jobs. Commercial production is set to begin in the third quarter of 2016.
"We're doing this because of the North American feedstock advantage," said Fowler, who joined with several partners to buy the plant from Flint Hills Resources in 2009. The plant currently makes specialty amorphous polyalphaolefin (APAO) resin.
PP made at the site will be sold into non-wovens, BOPP film and other applications, Folwer said. Rextac also will compound some of the new resin at Orrex Plastics, a compounding business it owns and operates adjacent to the plant.