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LyondellBasell’s 4Q net income almost flat to year-ago period
HOUSTON, February 2, 2016 (PCW) -– LyondellBasell on Tuesday reported 4Q net income of $795 million, up slightly from the $791 million reported a year ago. However, this was a nearly 33% drop from the $1.186 billion in 3Q 2015.
A 25% year-over-year earnings drop during the quarter from its Americas olefins and polyolefins sector was offset by gains in its international and technology segments.
LyondellBasell said it will conduct planned maintenance and expansion at its Corpus Christi plant in 2Q, during which time about 800 million lb/yr of capacity will be added to the current 1.7 billion lb/yr ethylene capacity. The expanded plant is expected to return to service in the third quarter.
CEO Bob Patel said during the earnings call Tuesday the company has begun front-end engineering work on its green field propylene oxide and tertiary butyl alcohol in Channelview. A final investment decision would only be made after FEED is completed toward the end of the year, Patel said. Also on the cards is an expansion of LyondellBasell’s polyethylene capacity, which Patel said has not been finalized. If the company does move forward on either of these projects, service is expected in the 2018-19 time frame.
LyondellBasell is planning to spend as much as $4 billion through 2020 on infrastructure projects along the Gulf Coast, particularly in Texas.
LyondellBasell’s 4Q segment earnings are as follows:
Americas olefins and polyolefins saw 4Q EBITDA of $775 million, down from $1.04 billion in 4Q 2014 and $841 million in 3Q 2015. This was due to lower ethylene and coproduct prices. Ethylene plants ran at 9% of capacity. Polypropylene volumes declined due to operating issues, the company said.
Europe, Asia and international olefins and polyoelfins saw 4Q EBITDA of $427 million, up from $348 million in 4Q 2014, but down from $549 million in 3Q 2015. Year-over-year results were boosted by improved margins and higher volumes for polyethylene and PP.
Intermediates and derivatives saw 4Q EBITDA of $212 million, down from $271 million in 4Q 2014 and $460 million in 3Q 2015. Softer segment earnings were due to weaker methanol margins and lower acetyl volumes as a result of LyondellBasell’s La Porte plant turnaround last year.