Williams Sells Gulf Coast Cracker Plant to NOVA Chemicals

Williams Geismar Olefins facility – click for larger version

Midstream giant Williams has been on a mission to make the company economically stronger AND produce cash that can be used for various purposes. In August, Williams announced they would sell their Canadian assets for $1 billion (see Bold Move – Williams Selling Canadian Assets). In September, Williams announced another potential asset sale–the company’s 88.5% ownership interest in the Geismar, Louisiana olefins petrochemical plant (see Williams Considers Selling its Gulf Coast Ethane Cracker Plant). The Geismar olefins plant is an ethane cracker by another name. It uses either ethane or propane and chemically “cracks” it into ethylene and propylene–raw plastics used by manufacturers. What does the Geismar plant have to do with the Marcellus/Utica? Directly, not much. There may be some Marcellus/Utica ethane flowing to that plant for processing, although we haven’t heard that. We’re interested in the story because Williams is one of the major midstream companies operating in our region. Anything that affects the company and its ability to continue operating, including asset sales in other regions, interests us. So it was with keen interest that we noticed Williams has now done the deal. They’ve agreed to sell the Geismar plant to Canada-based NOVA Chemicals, for $2.1 billion. Williams plans to use the money from the sale to pay down debt and fund capital investments…

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