Gulf Coast Growth Ventures has started production at two new polyethylene resin units in Corpus Christi, Texas.
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 start of production in a Jan. 20 news release.
Officials said the facility will make materials used in packaging, agricultural film, construction materials, clothing and automotive coolants. The operation includes two PE units with combined annual production capacity of almost 3 billion pounds, as well as a monoethylene glycol (MEG) unit with a capacity of more than 2.4 billion pounds per year.
"We built this state-of-the-art chemical plant ahead of schedule and below budget, by leveraging our global projects expertise in execution planning and delivery, while keeping everyone safe and healthy," said Karen McKee, president of ExxonMobil Chemical Co.
"This is a remarkable achievement that positions us well to help meet growing global demand for performance products while providing meaningful investment in the U.S. Gulf Coast," she added.
"It was with a great deal of dedication that our teams were able to safely start up each element of the plant before the close of 2021," added Abdulrahman Al-Fageeh, Sabic's executive vice president of petrochemicals.
Construction began in the third quarter of 2019, creating around 6,000 construction jobs. The manufacturing plant now directly employs more than 600. ExxonMobil is the site operator.
The GCGV project is the most recent North American PE expansion, part of an ongoing wave that's 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 early this year.