BP’s Decatur chemicals plant produces the building blocks for everything from clothing to flat-screen TVs.
The plant makes purified terephthalic acid (PTA) and its raw material paraxylene, with an annual manufacturing capacity of more than 1.7 million metric tons. Invented by BP, PTA is used in everything from plastic bottles to fabrics. Decatur also is the world’s only commercial manufacturer of naphthalene dicarboxylate, a chemical used in new-generation polyesters and resins to make LCD flat-panel displays, ultra-thin data storage tape and high-strength tire cord.
Located in a biodiverse area, the site proves that industry and wildlife can co-exist and thrive. Since receiving Wildlife Habitat Council (WHC) certification in 1994, the plant’s habitat enhancement and education programs have flourished. More than half of the 1,000-acre site is preserved as woodland and wetland habitat with public trails and an education center. With guidance from the WHC, employee volunteers have created, conserved and restored wildlife habitats throughout the manufacturing site.
BP is currently exploring the sale of the Decatur petrochemicals complex.
Elsewhere in Alabama, BP’s marketing and trading business has an office in Mobile, and it sells enough natural gas every year to meet 20 times the annual needs of every home in the state.