A massive plastics and petrochemicals project shared by ExxonMobil Chemical Co. and Saudi Basic Industries Corp. is heading to Corpus Christi, Texas.
The site would include the world's largest ethylene cracker, with annual capacity of almosy 4 billion pounds, as well as downstream units making polyethylene resin and other products. The site will cover 1,300 acres and represents a $10 billion investment by the two firms.
In a news release, the project was described as “a unique opportunity created by the abundance of low cost U.S. natural gas.”
The project could start production as soon as 2020, officials said. It's expected to create 6,000 construction jobs and 600 permanent jobs, as well as $50 billion in economic gains for the state in its first six years.
Houston-based ExxonMobil and Sabic of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, first said they were considering the project in July. At that time, officials said that several sites in Texas and Louisiana were being considered.
Several firms — including ExxonMobil — are adding large amounts of PE in the Gulf Coast region because of newfound supplies of shale-based natural gas. During 2017, ExxonMobil is expected to add as much as 3 billion pounds of new PE capacity at its site in Baytown, Texas.
Sabic and ExxonMobil have worked together on major chemical joint ventures in Saudi Arabia for 35 years.