SABIC & ExxonMobil Enter New Joint Venture
A major olefins project, first announced in 2016 and pending completion of the environmental permitting process, has been firmed up by SABIC and ExxonMobil through the formation of a new joint venture. Development of the new Gulf Coast Growth Ventures project, currently planned for construction in San Patricio County, Texas, starts with a 1.8 million m.t. ethane cracker (3.6 billion/lb), and will also include two PE production units and a monoethylene glycol (MEG) unit. No further details, such as capacity or types of PE grades, have been provided regarding the PE units, though it’s very likely it will include all three types—L/LLDPE and HDPE. The plant is expected to be operational in the 2021-2022 timeframe.
For SABIC, this will be its first production of polyolefins in North America. The company is a major polyolefins producer in the Middle East. This is actually the third joint venture between these two partners. SABIC is the operating partner for two long-standing joint ventures with ExxonMobil in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Kemya in Jubail and Yanpet in Yanbu. The companies say creation of the new joint venture represents a key milestone that allows SABIC and ExxonMobil to continue advancing the project, which is expected to create 600 new, permanent jobs, about 3500 indirect and induced jobs during operations, as well as 6000 construction jobs during the peak of construction.
Said SABIC vice chairman and CEO Yousef Al-Benyan, “We look forward to the next phase of the project which supports not only our goals for global diversification, but also supports Saudi Vision 2030. In addition, we are proud of the role the project will play in enhancing the economic profile of San Patricio County, Texas.”
Noted John Verity, president of ExxonMobil Chemical, “The new joint venture expands our long relationship with SABIC and builds on the success of several other joint projects. 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. We appreciate the support we’re receiving, and look forward to continuing our conversations with San Patricio County residents and businesses as we progress.”
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