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World-scale ethane cracker

Sasol is expanding its existing Louisiana chemical operations with the development of a world-scale ethane cracker that will produce 1.5 million tons of ethylene and other downstream derivatives per year. The ethane cracker will enable Sasol to expand its differentiated ethylene derivatives business, while helping to strengthen U.S. manufacturing, boost exports and spur economic growth.

Ethane “cracking” is the process of breaking down molecules of ethane contained in natural gas to create ethylene, one of the building blocks of the petrochemical industry.

The ethylene will be used in seven downstream derivative plants to produce a range of high-value derivatives used in everyday products such as synthetic fibers, detergents, fragrances, paints, film and food packaging.

The current project cost for the ethane cracker is estimated between $5 -$7 billion. The front-end engineering and design is expected to be completed by the end of 2014 with beneficial operation to be achieved in 2017.