Exxon Mobil Corp. and Saudi Basic Industries Corp. (SABIC) will proceed with construction of a 1.8-million-metric-ton ethane steam cracker complex near Corpus Christi, Texas, that will create more than 6,600 jobs, ExxonMobil reported Thursday.
“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,” ExxonMobil Chairman and CEO Darren W. Woods said in a written statement copied to the media.
“It is one of several key projects that provide the foundation for significantly increasing the company’s earnings potential.”
The project won necessary permits Wednesday from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.
ExxonMobil and SABIC’s Gulf Coast Growth Ventures (GCGV) joint venture will build the ethane cracker in San Patricio County north of Corpus Christi.
According to the GCGV website, the ethane cracker will supply ethylene to three derivate units: a monoethylene glycol (MEG) unit and two polyethylene (PE) units. The JV expects construction to start during the third quarter of this year, with startup projected for 2022.
“SABIC is very pleased to move forward on this third joint venture with ExxonMobil – the first to be operated outside of Saudi Arabia,” Yousef Al-Benyan, SABIC vice chairman and CEO, stated. “This project will not only increase global diversification for our company, but will also continue to create value within our new home of San Patricio County, through creating jobs and supporting economic growth. 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.”
ExxonMobil stated the project should create 6,000 jobs during the construction phase. In addition, the supermajor noted the facility will require more than 600 permanent jobs, paying $90,000 per year on average, during operations. Four primary engineering, procurement and construction firms – The Wood Group, McDermott & Turner Industries Group, Chiyoda & Kiewit and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries & Zachry Group – will lead project construction.
The San Patricio County project is part of ExxonMobil’s broader “Growing the Gulf” series of investments in Texas and Louisiana.”