Johannesburg-based Sasol plans to construct the world’s first commercial ethylene tetramerisation unit. It will be capable of producing approximately 110,230 tons per year of combined 1-octene and 1-hexene at its Lake Charles, La., production site.

The plant will Sasol’s convert ethylene to 1-octene and 1-hexene, a process Sasol developed in South Africa that selectively produces alpha olefins required for the high growth polymer markets.

The chemicals, 1-octene and 1-hexene, are used as co-monomers in the manufacture of linear low density polyethylene, high density polyethylene and elastomers. The products impart special characteristics of elasticity and strength in plastic used in consumer products such as food packaging, bags, toys, automotive interiors, power cable coatings and more.

Construction, scheduled to begin this year, should be completed by mid-2013.