The recent startup of Chevron Phillips Chemical Co. LP’s facility in Baytown, Texas, is turning out to be what it was cracker-ed up to be.

Fresh demand sent ethane prices up 3.2% at the Mont Belvieu, Texas, hub last week to its highest point since the end of January, and 20.3% at Conway, Kan. The Mont Belvieu margin improved from 5.6 cents per gallon (gal) to almost 7 cents/gal.

At peak, the energy-efficient Cedar Bayou cracker will boast a capacity of 1.5 million metric tons of ethylene per year. The new cracker will feed its two sister polyethylene units in Old Ocean, Texas, which launched in September 2017. The new plants jump-start what Chevron Phillips calls its “new era of growth” for its petrochemical business on the Gulf Coast.