LyondellBasell Announces Delay in Refining Business Exit
LyondellBasell's Houston refinery is among North America’s largest full-conversion refineries capable of processing significant quantities of heavy, high-sulfur crude oil. Photo courtesy of LyondellBasell.
LyondellBasell announced on May 31 plans to delay its refining business exit from year-end 2023 to no later than the end of the first quarter 2025. Favorable inspections and consistent performance have given the company confidence to continue safe and reliable operations at the Houston site. LyondellBasell anticipates moderate maintenance spend to support this extension in 2023 and 2024 but remains committed to ceasing operation of its oil refining business. The extension will minimize workforce impacts as the company continues to develop future options for the site and will enable a smoother transition between the shutdown and the implementation of the retrofitting and circular projects.
One of the three pillars of the company's new strategy is to build a profitable Circular and Low Carbon Solutions business. In support of this strategy, LyondellBasell is developing future plans for the Houston refining site.
"Our plans to transform the site for future growth beginning in 2025 are aligned with our purpose of creating solutions for everyday sustainable living," said Peter Vanacker, LyondellBasell CEO. "It is exciting to have a suite of future projects in the early stages of development."
Multiple options are being evaluated including recycled and renewable-based feedstocks and green and blue hydrogen. The growth projects under development would connect to existing assets in the Houston area and use existing infrastructure on the refining site including hydrotreaters, pipelines, tanks, utilities, buildings, and laboratories. In the future, LyondellBasell expects the 700-acre refining site will be part of a Houston regional hub for its Circular and Low Carbon Solutions business and support the growth of the LyondellBasell Circulen polymer portfolio.