WCF 2023: Next Wave Promotes Bio-based Ethylene Production
HOUSTON – Next Wave Energy Partners LP promoted its pioneering bio-based
ethylene production capabilities at the inaugural World Chemical Forum hosted
by Chemical Market Analytics by OPIS, a Dow Jones company.
Michael Bloesch, president and chief executive of Next Wave, demonstrated the
company’s ethanol-to-ethylene production as an addition to existing North
American olefins and circularity infrastructure on Thursday.
Dubbed “Project Lightning,” the effort is expected to produce roughly 400,000
metric tons/year of ethylene by dehydrating ethanol feedstock produced mainly
from corn or sugarcane. The plant built to deploy the technology also will
produce renewable alkylate and sustainable aviation fuel, Bloesch said.
The company has received environmental permits and is aiming to make a final
investment decision sometime in the first half of next year. If it proceeds,
Bloesch said a plant could be operating as soon as 2027.
The company said the bio-ethylene unit will be next to its Project Traveler
facility in the Houston Ship Channel and will be connected to existing U.S.
Gulf Coast olefin pipelines.
Bloesch added that a bio-based route will be less carbon intensive and more
cost-effective than existing circular olefin production methods that use
pyrolysis oil feedstock to recreate plastic resin. He also said bio-ethylene’s
negative carbon intensity will provide a “drop-in” solution for achieving the
company’s net zero carbon emissions goals.
Further, Bloesch said the company will be able to take advantage of significant
ethanol production in the U.S.
Next Wave is supported by Energy Capital Partners, an energy-focused private
equity firm that focuses on a range of ventures including renewables,
environmental infrastructure and midstream energy assets.
The World Chemical Forum is a new event hosted by CMA, with participation from
The Wall Street Journal and Barron’s, and focuses on the future of chemicals
and energy, their relationships and how both markets can address global
—Reporting by Adam Burkin, email@example.com; Editing by Anna Matherne,
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