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Exxon, Saudi SABIC Proceed With $10B Petrochemical Plant In Texas

ExxonMobil and Saudi Arabia’s SABIC said on Thursday that they would proceed with a plan to build a US$10-billion petrochemical project in San Patricio County, Texas.

Back in 2016, ExxonMobil and SABIC said that they were evaluating the potential to build a jointly operated petrochemical complex on the US Gulf Coast, and were assessing sites in either Texas or Louisiana.

In May last year, the companies announced the creation of a joint venture, Gulf Coast Growth Ventures, for the construction of the plant in San Patricio County, Texas, which they had picked for the facility. 

The plant will include a 1.8 million metric ton ethane steam cracker, two polyethylene units, and a monoethylene glycol unit. The companies received this month the final environmental regulatory approval to build the facility. Construction is expected to start in the third quarter this year, with the plant start-up anticipated by 2022, Exxon said in a statement today.

According to Exxon, the project will create more than 600 permanent jobs, while an additional 6,000 high-paying jobs will be created during the construction phase. The facility is expected to generate more than US$22 billion in economic output during construction and US$50 billion in economic benefits during the first six years of operation, Exxon said, quoting a preliminary independent study by Impact DataSource.

“Building the world’s largest steam cracker, with state-of-the-art technology, on the doorstep of rapidly growing Permian production gives this project significant scale and feedstock advantages,” Darren W. Woods, chairman and chief executive officer of ExxonMobil, said.

“It is one of several key projects that provide the foundation for significantly increasing the company’s earnings potential,” Woods added.

SABIC Vice Chairman and chief executive Yousef Al-Benyan said, commenting on the decision to proceed with the petrochemical facility:

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“With this project, we look forward to further building our business presence in the U.S. and serving the communities and customers in the North and South American markets even more effectively.”

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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