Ravago adds to its Texas footprint to handle expected PE growth

Friday, Nov 18, 2016

Materials supplier Ravago Americas has made a major land deal in Houston to handle new resin production in the Gulf Coast region.

Orlando, Fla.-based Ravago bought approximately 200 acres near Highway 1405 from TGS Cedar Port Partners. No purchase price was disclosed in a recent news release from NAI Partners, which represented TGS in the deal.

Officials said that although Ravago is already a major player in the Greater Houston market, the TGS Cedar Port operation is needed because of increased plastic resin production in the U.S. Gulf Coast. The new site will add to Ravago’s existing operations and is expected to handle in excess of 2 billion pounds of plastic resin annually.

Capacity additions made in 2016 have added more than 2 billion pounds of polyethylene capacity in the region. Projects from Dow Chemical Co., ExxonMobil Chemical Co. and Chevron Phillips Chemical Co. will add almost 7 billion pounds of capacity in 2017.

Total North American PE additions could total more than 30 billion pounds — not counting a 1.4 billion-pound expansion announced by ExxonMobil this week. These expansions are being driven by newfound supplies of natural gas throughout the region, which is supplying PE producers with abundant and affordable feedstocks.

“Ravago is responding to our customers’ and suppliers’ wishes to increase our footprint in the Greater Houston market,” Ravago operations vice president Sean Williams said in the release. “Chambers County and the City of Baytown have been supportive in allowing us the opportunity to develop a premier operation to support the vibrant plastic resins market in the U.S. Gulf Coast.”

TGS president William Scott added that his firm “is thrilled to have Ravago Americas come to the park, and we have enjoyed their pragmatic approach to support their industry’s expansion constraints.

“The local economy will benefit by having local plastic resin logistics alternatives that increase the local tax base and create local jobs from the expansion in resin production,” he said.

Other shipping and materials firms are making similar moves to handle the new PE output, much of which is expected to be exported outside of the region. Antwerp, Belgium-based Katoen Natie is working with railroad leader Union Pacific Corp. on a new Dallas-to-dock shipping service, along with plans to build a major resin shipping center in Dallas. KN’s 500,000-square-foot location will be adjacent to UP’s Dallas Intermodal Terminal and is scheduled for completion in the third quarter of 2017.

Rail giant BNSF Railway Co. and Texas-based firms Hillwood Development Co. LLC, and Packwell Inc. are working on a resin shipping center in Fort Worth. That project will be part of the AllianceTexas mixed-use development and is expected to come online during the fourth quarter of 2017.

Ravago Americas is a unit of Ravago Group of Arendonk, Belgium. Ravago Group employs 5,000 worldwide, distributing almost 9 billion pounds of resins and compounds to 40,000 customers. The firm also operates 30 manufacturing sites for recycling and compounding, as well as production of expanded polystyrene resin and finished products for the building and construction market.


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