Solvay announces today that it will build and operate a large-scale alkoxylation unit in Pasadena, Texas, at an integrated industrial facility of LyondellBasell's Equistar Chemicals affiliate, in order to serve a growing North American market. Equistar will supply the ethylene oxide raw material to the unit, in which Solvay will invest nearly € 40 million and is expected to be operational in 2015.
Alkoxylates are used as emulsifiers, detergents and wetting agents and are the chemical foundation for a wide range of Solvay Novecare specialty surfactants. The on-pipe unit will ensure greater security of alkoxylate supply for North American customers. Following completion, it will bring to eight Novecare's global alkoxylation plants.
"This is the latest in a series of strategic investments we have made to deploy capacity and product development assets to serve our customers in dynamic market segments," said Emmanuel Butstraen, President of Solvay Novecare. "Spurred by a rebounding housing market and a dynamic manufacturing sector, the new facility will enable us to help our North America customers meet growing business opportunities in many markets."
This investment follows Solvay's announcement in April that it will build an on-pipe alkoxylation facility in Singapore. Thanks to its presence on LyondellBasell's site, Solvay can benefit from an existing, competitive industrial footprint and assets as well as access to road, rail and navigable shipping transport to key customers and suppliers.
"We are pleased to see a strategic customer such as Solvay Novecare expand into the Bayport Industrial District," said Pat Quarles, LyondellBasell Senior Vice President of Intermediates and Derivatives. "Co-locating the Solvay Novecare facility at our Bayport site and linking to our ethylene oxide unit by pipeline offers new opportunities and benefits for each of our companies to grow our businesses."