Major facilities

BP petrochemicals are used in virtually every aspect of day-to-day life throughout the US
Cooper River plant silos BP's Cooper River has been a major economic engine for the region since construction began in 1976

Cooper River, South Carolina

BP’s Cooper River facility occupies 500 acres of a 6,000-acre forest and wetlands site, which has become a model for biodiversity stewardship. Located in an area recognized for its scenic beauty and abundant wildlife, the Cooper River site is one of the world’s largest producers of purified terephthalic acid (PTA), a chemical feedstock used primarily to make polyester products. The site’s two big units produce nearly 1.3 million metric tons of PTA a year — making it the largest site of its kind in the U.S. 

BP Cooper River pumps more than $100 million a year into the local economy through payroll and third-party expenditures, and we also are a major taxpayer, paying roughly $2 million each year in school and county property taxes. 

Built in 1976-77, the Amoco heritage plant has been a testing ground for PTA technology ever since it opened in 1978. While most of Cooper River’s customers are in the United States, some product is exported to Asia, Europe, the Middle East and South Africa. Worldwide demand for PTA, driven primarily by Asian economies, is growing and expected to be strong in the foreseeable future. 

Decatur, Alabama

Located near Huntsville, Alabama, BP Decatur manufactures PTA and its basic raw material, paraxylene (PX). It is also the world’s only commercial-scale producer of naphthalene dicarboxlate (NDC). Built in 1965, Decatur now produces over 2- million metric tons total capacity. The plant recycles waste steam in order to reduce operating costs and lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. 

In 2014, for the sixth time in eleven years, BP’s chemical site plant in Decatur received an award from the Manufacture Alabama Safety Conference for outstanding safety performance. The site also earned the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) highest industrial honor – designation as a Star Site in OHSA’s Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) in 2009.

In September 2013, the site received the North Alabama Better Business Bureau’s (BBB) top award for Marketplace Ethics in the large company category.

Texas City, Texas

Located near Houston, one of the world’s largest petrochemical manufacturing areas, BP Texas City Chemicals (TCC) produces two key chemical intermediates – paraxylene (PX) and metaxylene (MX). The 220-acre site includes four process units and a deep-water marine terminal near the Houston Ship Channel, the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway and the Gulf of Mexico. It employs approximately 265 people.

TCC buys mixed xylenes from Gulf Coast refineries to manufacture PX and MX. It has a total annual production capacity of nearly 1.5 million tons.  BP also has a long-term acetic acid production agreement with Eastman Chemical Company in Texas City.  This unit has an annual production capacity of approximately 580,000 tonnes which is exclusively marketed by BP.

Part of BP’s Western Hemisphere Aromatics business unit, TCC feeds much of its PX to sister site, BP Cooper River. The PX is used there to make purified terephthalic acid (PTA) for the production of polyester for various products such as PET bottles, magnetic tapes, microfilms and containers. 

The main use of metaxylene is purified isophthalic acid (PIA) that goes into the manufacturing of soda bottles, fiberglass auto bodies, surf boards, snowmobile housings, outboard motor covers, industrial cooling fans, and vaulting poles. 

With its first unit starting up in 1962, TCC celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2012. BP has invested more than $10 million in recent modernization projects at the plant.

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