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Borealis announces the start-up of New Ethane Cracker at its Joint Venture Baystar in Port Arthur, Texas

Bayport Polymers LLC (“Baystar”), a 50/50 joint venture (JV) between Borealis and TotalEnergies, today announces the start-up of commercial operations of a new ethane cracker with an annual production capacity of one million tons of ethylene.

This almost USD 2 billion project built on the site of the TotalEnergies Refinery in Port Arthur, Texas, represents 14 million hours worked with more than 2,500 workers at peak construction.

Baystar aerial view at day
© McDermott International

The ethylene produced by the cracker will be used as feedstock to supply Baystar’s existing polyethylene (PE) units, as well as a new Borstar® technology polyethylene unit currently under construction in Bayport, Texas.

“I am excited to see the start-up of this new ethane cracker, an important milestone for us as we are expanding our global footprint through Baystar. We are pleased to bring Borealis’ proprietary Borstar® technology to North America for the first time, allowing Baystar to produce enhanced polyethylene products for the most demanding applications,” said Borealis CEO, Thomas Gangl.

The start-up of the new ethane cracker is an important milestone for Baystar becoming a fully integrated polyethylene company. The focus is on growing the polymers market in North America and leveraging the power of partnerships.

The Baystar JV is the translation of the growth ambitions of Borealis and TotalEnergies in the United States.

It includes:

  • The Baystar site in Bayport, Pasadena, Texas – with a 400,000 ton-per-year PE capacity.
  • The one million ton-per-year ethane cracker at the TotalEnergies Port Arthur Refinery, which now has successfully started operations.
  • The under-construction 625,000 metric ton-per-year PE unit in Bayport, using the Borealis proprietary Borstar® technology to deliver a broad range of products to help meet the growing global demand for plastic products. The Borstar® process offers simultaneous improvements in production flexibility and environmental performance such as high energy efficiency. Furthermore, Borstar® products excel in sustainability, for example through light-weighting and by enabling incorporation of more than 50% post-consumer recycled materials in some end products.

Illustration: Baystar assets in Texas, US.
Illustration: Baystar assets in Texas, US.© Borealis