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Exxon, SABIC settle on Texas petchem site

HOUSTON, April 20, 2017 – ExxonMobil and partner Saudi Arabia Basic Industries (SABIC) have selected a location along Texas’ Gulf of Mexico coast for their planned petrochemicals facility.

According to statements made by the companies on late Wednesday, a 5.3-square-kilometre site in Portland, Texas, has been chosen for what ExxonMobil officials say will be one of the world’s largest ethane steam crackers.

The plant, which is tentatively scheduled to open in 2024, has a planned ethylene production capacity of 1.8 million tpy and is estimated to cost around USD 10 billion to build.

 

SABIC had announced its interest in building a petrochemicals plant with ExxonMobil in July 2016, and said at the time that they were looking into potential sites in Texas and Louisiana for the joint venture (JV). In the end, the companies were lured to the Corpus Christi area in part by a reported USD 2 billion in state and local tax incentives.

The proposed project fits into ExxonMobil’s plan to spend USD 20 billion over 10 years to expand its refining and petrochemicals manufacturing operations in the US Gulf Coast region, which company CEO Darren Woods announced last month. The JV with SABIC is just one of 11 new or upgraded sites included in ExxonMobil’s plan.

When making the announcement in March, Woods cited the USA’s growing supply natural gas as guidance for the move.

“We are using new, abundant domestic energy supplies to provide products to the world at a competitive advantage resulting from lower costs and abundant raw materials,” Woods said.

“In this way, an upstream technology breakthrough has led to a downstream manufacturing renaissance.”

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