Saudi Basic Industries Inc. (Sabic) and ExxonMobil Chemical Co. have formed another joint venture to add plastics and petrochemicals production on the U.S. Gulf Coast.
The new JV will develop the Gulf Coast Growth Ventures project in San Patricio County, Texas, officials with both firms said in a May 1 news release. That project will include two production units for polyethylene resins, as well as a unit making monoethylene glycol feedstock and a massive ethane cracker with almost 4 billion pounds of annual capacity.
Sabic, based in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and ExxonMobil of Spring, Texas already operate two petrochemical JVs in Saudi Arabia. Officials said that creation of the new joint venture "represents a key milestone that allows the two companies to continue advancing the project."
The new JV is expected to create 600 permanent jobs, about 3,500 indirect jobs and 6,000 construction jobs during the peak of construction. The start of construction on the project is pending completion of the environmental permitting process. The plant is expected to be operational sometime in 2021 or 2022.
"The project will create value not only for both of our companies, but for the surrounding communities through the creation of jobs and economic growth," ExxonMobil Chemical president John Verity said.
Several materials firms are adding large amounts of PE in the Gulf Coast region because of newfound supplies of shale-based natural gas. During 2017, ExxonMobil added three billion pounds of new PE capacity at its site in Baytown, Texas.