Gulf Coast Growth Ventures has reached physical completion on a major project in Corpus Christi, Texas, that includes two new polyethylene resin units.
GCGV is a 50-50 joint venture between ExxonMobil Corp. of Irving, Texas, and Saudi Basic Industries Corp. of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Officials with GCGV announced the milestone in a July 26 news release.
The PE units will have annual production capacity of almost 3 billion pounds. The $7 billion complex includes a unit making monoethylene glycol (MEG), a feedstock used to make PET bottle resin and other products. Annual MEG production capacity at the site will be almost 2.5 billion pounds.
Project startup is expected to begin ahead of schedule, officials said, likely in the fourth quarter of 2021.
"This is truly a best-in-class project, as demonstrated in schedule acceleration and cost competitiveness, despite the many challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic," Sabic Petrochemicals Vice President Abdulrahman Al-Fageeh said in the release.
"We are very proud to bring GCGV one step closer to operations," he added. "Not only are we ahead of schedule, but we have executed this project with the highest commitment and emphasis on safety … all while acting on the promises we made to the community when we started this journey four years ago."
The project created more than 600 permanent jobs, with an additional 6,000 jobs during construction. ExxonMobil will operate the site.
The complex includes an ethane steam cracker with almost 4 billion pounds of annual capacity. It's expected to be delivered under budget — and at approximately 25 percent less than the average cost of similar projects along the U.S. Gulf Coast, officials said.
They added that GCGV "expands the successful international relationship between ExxonMobil and Sabic, who have worked together in petrochemical ventures for more than 35 years."
The GCGV project is part of an ongoing wave of North American PE capacity additions that have been enabled by low-priced natural gas feedstock developed via fracking and horizontal drilling. Shell Polymers is expected to open 3.5 billion pounds of PE capacity at a new complex near Pittsburgh sometime in 2022.