Increased shale gas development is leading Mexican plastics and chemicals company Mexichem SAB de CV to form a joint venture to make ethylene feedstock with Occidental Chemical Corp., a plastics and chemicals firm based in Dallas.
The proposed venture would build a cracker using natural gas-based ethane at an undetermined site. The cracker would have more than 1 billion pounds of annual ethylene capacity, which OxyChem would use to make PVC feedstock vinyl chloride monomer at its complex in Ingleside, Texas.
The VCM would be shipped to Mexichem plants in Mexico, and used to make PVC. A feasibility study is to be completed in the second quarter of 2013. If the plan can be economically justified, the cracker would begin operations in 2016.
“Through this agreement, as well as its joint investment with [state-owned] Pemex, Mexichem expects to assure its supply of VCM required to operate its PVC plants,” Mexichem officials said in a release.
Mexichem is headquartered in Tlalnepantla.