Chevron Phillips-Qatar, Ineos projects supersize growing industry

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Two new petrochemical projects are underway along the Gulf Coast as the sector’s second wave of expansion rolls on, despite analyst projections of abundant supplies, lower prices and a potential industry downturn in the coming years.

Chevron Phillips Chemical said Tuesday that has signed a deal with Qatar Petroleum to develop an $8 billion plant on the Gulf Coast in a project that would generate thousands of construction jobs and represent the Middle Eastern country’s first major petrochemical project in the U.S.

The mega project rivals the scale of the Exxon Mobil-SABIC petrochemical plant near Corpus Christi, which would become one of the biggest petrochemical plants in Texas when completed in 2022.

The London petrochemical company Ineos, owned by Britain’s richest man, also recently made a final decision to expand its Chocolate Bayou plant in Alvin, south of Houston.

Ineos Oxide, a subsidiary of Ineos, will build new ethylene oxide and associated ethylene oxide derivatives units with the capacity to produce 1.2 billion pounds (about 520,000 metric tons) of the chemicals.

Ethylene oxide is used to make ethylene glycol, which is used to make polyester fiber for clothes, upholstery, carpet and pillows and the blending of automotive engine antifreeze.

Ineos also is considering an $803 million expansion at at its La Porte chemical plant.

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