Saudi Aramco-owned Motiva Enterprises LLC has signed an agreement to purchase complete ownership interest in Flint Hills Resources LLC (FHR) subsidiary Flint Hills Resources Port Arthur LLC, including its chemical plant in Port Arthur, Tex., which produces ethylene, polymer-grade propylene, and cyclohexane.
The proposed acquisition is scheduled to close in this year’s fourth quarter, subject to satisfaction of unspecified closing conditions, Motiva said.
The parties will not be disclosing terms of the transaction, according to Motiva.
Once completed, the Port Arthur acquisition will mark Motiva’s entry into the chemical industry, said Patrick Kirby, principal analyst at Wood Mackenzie.
“[FHR] Port Arthur LLC incudes a 635,000-tonne/year mixed-feedstock steam cracker, a cyclohexane plant, and associated storage and pipeline infrastructure,” Kirby said.
The Port Arthur chemical assets are located adjacent to Motiva’s 635,000 Port Arthur refinery, of which Aramco took full ownership and operation in 2017 following Royal Dutch Shell PLC’s exit (OGJ Online, May 15, 2017).
“The steam cracker, which can handle a range of feedstocks—including ethane and those from the refinery—forms an integral part of the transaction. The steam cracker primarily produces ethylene and propylene for the merchant market,” Kirby said.
“It remains unclear as to what Motiva has planned post-acquisition, however, some options could include strengthening refinery-chemicals integration, expansion of the asset capacity, or potentially longer-term derivative plant development.”
Kirby noted Motiva also has previously expressed plans for further chemical developments at Port Arthur, including a “steam cracker and aromatics facility.”