Exxon-SABIC JV Starts up new Texas Petchem Site

02.02.2022 - ExxonMobil and SABIC have brought on stream what they tout as the world’s largest ethane cracker. The facility at Portland, Texas, which is operated by the companies’ Gulf Coast Growth Ventures (GCGV), has capacity to produce 1.8 million t/y of ethylene.

Downstream of the cracker, the companies will operate twin on-site polyethylene plants, each with the capability to produce 65,000 t/y. The ethylene additionally is to be processed into 1.1 million t of monoethylene glycol. The PE plants will use ExxonMobil’s process, while the MEG facility will use Shell’s Omega process.

The 50:50 JV between the US and Saudi petrochemicals majors is their third collaboration to date, their first in the US and SABIC’s first engagement in the region. The other two joint companies, both based in Saudi Arabia, are Kemya in Jubail and Yanpet in Yanbu.

The new Texas complex built by a stellar array of engineering contractors led by Aberdeen, Scotland-based Wood Group, is located close to ExxonMobil’s current headquarters at Irving, Texas. The location, which is also close to transport hubs and a deep-water port, is said to allow for easy access to an abundant supply of natural gas from the Eagle Ford shale field.

PE output from the new Texas facilities is planned to be sold to the packaging, agricultural film, construction materials, clothing and automotive coolants industries. When plans for the new site were unveiled, the port authority of Corpus Christi said the production complex would attract new business to the area.

Author: Dede Williams, Freelance Journalist