Lyondell considering ‘very significant’ investment in Houston refinery site after closure

An aerial view of LyondellBasell-Houston Refining is seen in Houston, Texas, U.S. August 31, 2017. REUTERS/Adrees Latif

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HOUSTON, July 29 (Reuters) – Chemicals maker Lyondell Basell Industries (LYB.N) is considering a “very significant investment” at its Houston refinery site after crude oil refining will be permanently halted by the end of 2023, said chief executive Peter Vanacker. said in a conference call Friday.

The investment would be in technology Lyondell is developing to recycle plastics, Vanacker said during the Friday morning conference call with Wall Street analysts to discuss second-quarter results.

“We are making very good progress on our molecular recycling technology,” Vanacker said. “And this site could suit us very well to make very large investments. Nothing has been decided yet. …

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“But the more we watch it, the more inspired we get…because we have some really good equipment that we could possibly use.”

Lyondell, which in April announced plans to close the refinery in December 2023, said the refinery’s hydrotreaters could be used to improve pyrolysis oil made from recycled plastics. Pyrolysis oil is a potential substitute for fossil fuels.

Lyondell plans to close the refinery because it no longer matches the company’s global chemical production. Vanacker said Friday that closing the plant would put the company within 40% of its 2030 carbon reduction target.

Vanacker, on his first conference call since becoming Lyondell chief executive in May, offered the answer on repurposing the refinery site to answer questions about possible negotiations with potential buyers of the facility. .

Sources told Reuters on Thursday that the company turned away at least one potential buyer who inquired about buying the refinery. Read more

In the second quarter, the refinery generated earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) of $418 million, the company said in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Refinery yields helped offset Lyondell’s olefins and polyolefins production losses in European, Asian and international operations.

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Reporting by Erwin Seba; edited by Jonathan Oatis

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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