LyondellBasell Industries is pushing back plans to shutter its oil refinery on the Houston Ship Channel.

The petrochemical company had anticipated shuttering the Houston oil refinery by the end of 2023.

But LyondellBasell now plans to close the refinery and fully exit the refining business by the end of first-quarter 2025, the company announced May 31. The company is evaluating new uses for the site, including hydrogen production or other green energy uses.

“Favorable inspections and consistent performance” has given LyondellBasell confidence to continue operations at the century-old Houston refinery, the company said in a news release.

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The refining complex, which produces products including gasoline, diesel, jet fuel and lubricants, traces its origins back to 1918 and was one of the first petroleum refineries built along the Houston Ship Channel.

The company anticipates a moderate amount of maintenance spend to support the extension through 2023 and 2024.

The Houston refinery has a crude oil processing capacity of approximately 268,000 barrels per day (bbl/d), according to regulatory filings.

Fossil past, green future

LyondellBasell tried to sell the oil refinery in 2021 but failed to find a buyer. Now, the company is evaluating future options for the site after exiting the refining sector, including developing a hub for producing renewable and circular products.

“Our plans to transform the site for future growth beginning in 2025 are aligned with our purpose of creating solutions for everyday sustainable living,” LyondellBasell CEO Peter Vanacker said in a statement. “It is exciting to have a suite of future projects in the early stages of development.”

Multiple use cases are being evaluated for the Houston Ship Channel site, including hydrogen production and projects using renewable and recycled feedstocks.

The company aims to use existing infrastructure at the refinery site, including hydrotreaters, pipelines, tanks, utilities, buildings and lab facilities, to support the potential low-carbon projects being considered.