CPChem and QatarEnergy Green Light US Complex

21.11.2022 - Chevron Phillips Chemical (CPChem) and QatarEnergy — formerly Qatar Petroleum — have taken a positive final investment decision on their proposed $8.5 billion joint ethylene/PE complex in the US. They have formed a joint venture called Golden Triangle Polymers, owned 51% by CPChem and 49% by QatarEnergy.

The go-ahead follows the signing of an agreement to pursue the project in September 2019 — at that time they were expecting to make a final decision no later than 2021. 

The complex at Orange, Texas, will comprise an ethane cracker with capacity of just over 2 million t/y plus two HDPE units of 1 million t/y each, producing CPChem’s Marlex brand, which is used to make packaging, durable goods such as gas and water pipes and recreational products like kayaks and coolers.

“This important project will complement QatarEnergy’s growing portfolio, both internationally as well as in the US, and will help meet growing global demand for polymers. It builds on our long-term and successful partnership with Chevron Phillips Chemical, and we look forward to further collaborations in the future,” said Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi, Minister of State for Energy Affairs and president and CEO of QatarEnergy.

Construction will start immediately and completion is scheduled for 2026, two years later than originally envisaged. The complex is expected to create more than 500 full-time jobs.

Contracts have already been awarded for work on the project. Engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) of the PE plants will be executed by ZDJV, a joint venture between Zachry Industrial and DL USA.

T.EN Stone & Weber Process Technology will be responsible for engineering and procurement on the furnace part of the ethane cracker, while PCL Industrial Construction will provide construction services. EPC work on the other portions of the ethane cracker will be carried out by JKJV, a partnership between JGC America and Kiewit Energy.

CPChem and QatarEnergy are also partnering on a world-scale petrochemical plant in Ras Laffan Industrial City in Qatar. The companies awarded a lumpsum contract in June to Consolidated Contractors Co. (CCC) to prepare the site, which will house an ethane cracker with an annual capacity of 2.08 million t, making it the largest ethane cracker in the Middle East and one of the biggest in the world, QatarEnergy said.

The cracker will feed two HDPE units. QatarEnergy did not disclose the units’ capacities, but said the project will increase Qatar’s PE output by roughly 64%.

Front-end engineering and design work was completed last year. Startup is scheduled for 2026, a year later than when the project was first announced in 2019. QatarEnergy has a 70% stake in this venture, with CPChem owning 30%.

Author: Elaine Burridge, Freelance Journalist