ExxonMobil and SABIC recently announced the decision to proceed with the construction of a chemical facility and a 1.8 Mt ethane steam cracker in San Patricio County, Texas. The project is reportedly expected to lead to thousands of high-paying jobs and billions in economic output.
“Building the world’s largest steam cracker, with state-of-the-art technology, on the doorstep of rapidly growing Permian production gives this project significant scale and feedstock advantages,” said Darren W. Woods, chairman and CEO of ExxonMobil. “It is one of several key projects that provide the foundation for significantly increasing the company’s earnings potential.”
The joint venture between ExxonMobil and SABIC, called Gulf Coast Growth Ventures, received final environmental regulatory approval in June 2019 to build an ethane steam cracker, two polyethylene, units and a monoethylene glycol unit. Construction will begin in the third quarter of 2019, and startup is anticipated by 2022.
“SABIC is very pleased to move forward on this third joint venture with ExxonMobil—the first to be operated outside of Saudi Arabia,” said Yousef Al-Benyan, SABIC vice chairman and CEO. “This project will not only increase global diversification for our company, but will also continue to create value within our new home of San Patricio County through creating jobs and supporting economic growth. With this project, we look forward to further building our business presence in the U.S. and serving the communities and customers in the North and South American markets even more effectively.”
The project is expected to create more than 600 permanent jobs with average annual salaries of $90,000 per year. An additional 6,000 high-paying jobs will be created during construction. A preliminary independent study, conducted by Impact DataSource, estimates the project will generate more than $22 billion in economic output during construction and $50 billion in economic benefits during the first six years of operation.