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Ineos Weighs Expansion of U.S. Chemical Plant to Tap Cheap Gas

  • Decision on Texas ethylene facility due in a year, CEO says
  • Low oil prices could tighten ethylene supply, says U.K. firm

Ineos Group Ltd., the largest closely held U.K. company, is considering expanding its U.S. factories to take advantage of low-cost natural-gas liquids that are used to make ethylene and plastics.

The company may add 250 million to 1 billion pounds of annual ethylene production at its Chocolate Bayou site south of Houston, Dennis Seith, chief executive officer of the company’s U.S. olefins and polymers unit, said Wednesday. Additional polypropylene and alpha-olefins capacity may be added at the site. Decisions on all three investments will be made within a year, with the expanded ethylene output available early next decade, he said in an interview.