State Green Lights Expansion Of Sweeny Chemical Complex

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality has approved Chevron Phillips Chemicals' request to expand ethylene production at its Sweeny complex in Brazoria County.

Ethylene is a chemical used in making hard plastics. The Woodlands-based company says it will begin building a tenth furnace for one the ethylene units at Sweeny by September.

Dave Smith is vice president of olefins and natural gas liquids at Chevron Phillips.

“It currently is limited on its production rate anytime that we have any of the furnaces down for maintenance work or cleaning. And so installing this new furnace, we’ll be able to run at full rates 100% of the year, which results in about 200 million lbs. per year of additional production.”

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The company also says the new furnace will help reduce emissions that contribute to smog. That’s a prime concern for Adrian Shelley, executive director of Air Alliance Houston.

“The unit that’s proposed for expansion had a very large emissions event in May and another very large event in April before it.”

The Sweeny complex already produces more than 4 billion lbs. of ethylene per year.



Andrew Schneider

Andrew Schneider

Business Reporter

Andrew Schneider joined News 88.7 in January 2011. Since arriving in Houston, he has reported on the many changes wrought on the region’s economy by the revolution in domestic oil and gas production. His non-energy reporting runs the gamut from white-collar crime to cattle ranching. His work has aired on...

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