IRVING, Texas—ExxonMobil Chemical Co. and Sabic Innovative Plastics are moving forward with the construction of a chemical facility and a steam cracker with an annual capacity of 1.8 million metric tons in San Patricio County, Texas, the companies said in a statement.
The June 13 announcement came after the joint venture called Gulf Coast Growth Ventures, received final environmental regulatory approval.
The facility will include "the world's largest 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.
The two companies did not offer a cost evaluation for the project.
"Building the world's largest steam cracker, with state-of-the-art technology, on the doorstep of rapidly growing Permian (basin) production gives this project significant scale and feedstock advantages," Darren Woods, ExxonMobil CEO and chairman, said.
ExxonMobil expects to significantly increase its earning potential through this facility and a number of other key projects, he said.
For Sabic, the project is part of a larger effort to diversify globally, and comes in the midst of an acquisition by Aramco.
"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," said Yousef Al-Benyan Sabic vice chairman and CEO.
The project is expected to create more than 600 permanent jobs, each paying an average salary of $90,000 per year. 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.
The facility will produce materials used in the manufacturing of various consumer products including automotive coolants, packaging, agricultural film and building, and construction materials and clothing.
Project construction will be led by four primary engineering, procurement and construction companies: The Wood Group, McDermott & Turner Industries Group, Chiyoda & Kiewit and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries & Zachry Group.
ExxonMobil and Sabic initially announced their plans for the major project in May 2018. At the time, the two companies put an estimate of $7.3 billion for the 50/50 joint venture.