LAKE CHARLES, LA – Sasol has selected S & B Engineers and Constructors of Houston, Texas as its engineering, procurement, and construction management contractor to construct its recently announced ethylene Tetramerization plant. The new plant will be built within Sasol North America’s existing Chemical Complex located adjacent to the City of Westlake, Louisiana.
The pioneering plant will utilize Sasol’s proprietary technology to convert ethylene to 1-octene and 1-hexene. This unique process was developed in Sasol’s R&D laboratories in South Africa, and selectively produces alpha olefins required for the high growth polymer markets. Engineers and scientists from Sasol North America (SNA) participated with an international team to design the unit, which will utilize the new technology on an industrial manufacturing scale.
Responding to their appointment, S & B President, James Slaughter Jr said the company is honored to have been selected by Sasol to perform engineering, procurement, and construction management for its project to commercialize a new and important chemical production technology. “We are committed to providing Sasol and the local community a safe working environment and a world class project,” said Slaughter.
Additional local contract companies are expected to be identified in coming months with the groundbreaking for the new plant scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2011.
According to André de Ruyter, Sasol’s Senior Group Executive responsible for Operations, the project is targeted for start up in mid-2013, and will produce 100,000 metric tons per year of combined 1-octene and 1-hexene.
Sasol estimates that approximately 36 new employees will be hired to operate and maintain the new plant. “These employment opportunities will be coordinated through the Louisiana Workforce Commission. Interested applicants should keep contact information and credentials current with the local employment office on 5th Avenue in Lake Charles,” said Mike Thomas, President, Sasol North America.
With current production of over 350,000 metric tons per year, Sasol is a major producer of co-monomer range alpha olefins. 1-octene and 1-hexene are used as co-monomers in the manufacture of linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE), high density polyethylene (HDPE) and elastomers. The products impart special characteristics of elasticity and strength in plastic used in consumer products such as food packaging, bags, toys, automotive interiors, power cable coatings and more.