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First-of-Its-Kind-in-U.S. Facility Breaks Ground

Construction of a manufacturing plant that promises to be vital to the world’s move toward electrification is now underway, according to Chemical Industry Digest.

What’s going on: “Orion S.A., a specialty chemicals company, broke ground on a plant in Texas that will be the only facility in the U.S. producing acetylene-based conductive additives for lithium-ion batteries and other applications vital for the global shift to electrification.”

  • Batteries require conductive additives, and those produced at the Texas facility southeast of Houston will be made using acetylene, a colorless gas.
  • Equistar Chemicals LP, a subsidiary of polymer and polyolefin technologies manufacturer LyondellBasell, will manufacture acetylene at a nearby location.
  • The new plant will be similar to an Orion facility already in operation in southern France that also uses acetylene from LyondellBasell.

“A crucial part”: “[W]e see electrification as a crucial part of our plan to reduce carbon emissions across our industries,” said LyondellBasell Executive Vice President of Global Olefins and Polyolefins, Refining and Supply Chain Kim Foley. “By supporting the production of key battery components, we’re contributing to solutions for a better tomorrow.” The company recently released its annual sustainability report.

  • The battery additives produced at the Texas facility will have “one-tenth of the carbon footprint of other commonly used materials,” according to the article.
  • And the plant “will bring new technology and high-skilled jobs including laborers, millwrights, welders, equipment operators, among others jobs in Texas, and [will] positively impact long-term job creation for the local community,” Energy Job Shop reports.
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