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ExxonMobil and SABIC to Proceed with Olefins/PE Joint Venture


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A major 50/50 olefins joint venture project first announced in 2016, by ExxonMobil Chemical and SABIC, has received final environmental regulatory approval. Construction of the new Gulf Coast Growth Ventures project will begin in third quarter in San Patricio County, Texas, with startup slated for 2022.

The project 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. There are still no further details, such as capacity or types of PE grades that will be produced by the PE units, though it’s very likely it will include all three types—LDPE, LLDPE and HDPE. As previously reported, this will mark SABIC’s first production of polyolefins in North America. The company is a major polyolefins producer in the Middle East.

Said SABIC vice chairman and CEO Yousef Al-Benyan, “SABIC is very pleased to move forward on this third joint venture with ExxonMobil—the first to be operated outside of Saudi Arabia…This project will not only increase global diversification for our company, but will also continue to create value within our new home in 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 more effectively.”

Said ExxonMobil’s chairman and CEO Darren Woods, “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. It is one of several key projects that provide the foundation for significantly increasing the company’s earnings potential.”  

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