OxyChem, Mexichem choose contractor for new US ethylene cracker

Ingleside Ethylene, the recently formed 50/50 joint venture between US-based Occidental Chemical (OxyChem) and Mexico-based Mexichem, announced Monday that CB&I was awarded the approximately $1 billion engineering and construction contract to build a new cracker in Ingleside, Texas. 

CB&I, based in The Woodlands, Texas, previously completed the front end engineering and design work for the 1.2-billion lb/year capacity ethylene cracker, which will be located at OxyChem’s complex in Ingleside. CB&I's technology operating group will provide its proprietary cracking heaters for the project. 

The project is expected to create approximately 1,700 jobs at the peak of construction and more than 150 permanent jobs once operations begin. 

After construction, OxyChem will operate the cracker.

With Monday's award, Ingleside Ethylene is maintaining the schedule it announced on October 31, when OxyChem and Mexichem formalized the 50/50 joint venture. The timetable calls for the award of the construction and engineering contract in the fourth quarter of 2013, construction to begin in mid-2014 and the cracker to begin commercial operations in the first quarter of 2017. 

OxyChem and Mexichem have entered into a long-term strategic supply relationship, in which essentially all of the ethylene produced from the cracker will be consumed by OxyChem in the manufacture of vinyl chloride monomer (VCM) utilizing its existing VCM capacity. 

VCM will be delivered to Mexichem to produce polyvinyl chloride (PVC resin) and PVC piping systems. 

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