HOUSTON-Solvay Polymers Inc. and Exxon Chemical Co. separately announced plans to increase polypropylene production with new facilities in suburban Houston. Solvay said it has started to build a gas-phase reactor at its Deer Park, Texas, facility.
The new reactor will begin production in the third quarter of 1996.
Combined with current debottlenecking of existing lines, Solvay said its Deer Park facility will have the capacity to produce 770 million pounds of PP a year by the end of 1996. The complex now can produce 440 million pounds of PP a year.
Solvay said it will use the new reactor to widen the range of products it offers. The company said it expects to offer new impact copolymers and higher-ethylene-content random copolymers.
As previously reported, Exxon is planning to build a 530 million-pound production plant at its Baytown, Texas, petrochemical facility.
When the new line is completed in mid-1997, Exxon said it will have capacity to produce 1.6 billion pounds of PP a year at the facility.
Exxon will produce homopolymer and impact copolymer, using Montell Polyolefin's Spheripol process, Mitsui Petrochem-ical Ltd.'s Hypol process and its own processing technologies in the new reactor.
Exxon said it will target appliance and automotive markets for the resins.
Exxon Chemical and Solvay Polymers are headquartered in Houston.
Solvay, combined with its parent, Solvay SA of Brussels, Belgium, and Exxon are among the top 10 PP producers in the world.