OxyChem, Mexichem win environmental permits for new Texas cracker

Ingleside Ethylene, the 50/50 joint venture between Occidental Chemical (OxyChem) and Mexichem, announced Friday that it received the necessary permits for its new ethylene cracker in Ingleside, Texas.

The permits were awarded by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ). 

Issuance of the permits, combined with the already completed front-end engineering and design study, will enable Ingleside Ethylene to construct the 550,000 tpy cracker and start commercial operations in the first quarter of 2017, as previously planned. 

The cracker will be located at OxyChem’s complex in Ingleside and be operated by OxyChem. The project is expected to create approximately 1,700 jobs at the peak of construction and more than 150 permanent jobs once operations begin. 

“Issuance of environmental permits is an important milestone in the development of this world-class project and allows Ingleside Ethylene to move forward on schedule,” said Chuck Anderson, president of OxyChem. “When operational, the facility will enable our companies to take advantage of shale gas development in the United States and further enhance our positions as leaders in the global chemical industry.” 

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. 

“We are very excited with the issuance of these permits and very pleased with the on-time development of the project, which reflects the strength of OxyChem’s project management capabilities,” said Antonio Carrillo, CEO of Mexichem. “Once the project is operational, the VCM that Mexichem will receive from OxyChem´s facility will be fully vertical-integrated into ethane coming from shale gas.” 

The joint venture announced in December that it had awarded the approximately $1 billion engineering and construction contract to CB&I.

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