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Exxon, SABIC launch chemical plant near Corpus Christi

January 21, 2022

A $7 billion chemical plant owned jointly by Exxon Mobil and Saudi Basic Industries Corp., or SABIC, has kicked off operations, the companies said Thursday. 

The facility broke ground in 2019 and features the world’s largest unit for processing ethane, a component of natural gas, into ethylene, the primary building block of most plastics. The unit, known as a cracker, has the capacity to process 1.8 million metric tons of ethylene per year. 

The plant, which employs 600 people, also includes processing units that can produce up to 1.1 million tons per year of monoethylene glycol, used to make films and polyester fibers, and 1.3 million tons per year of polyethylene, a resin used to make things like food wrap and shopping bags.

The chemical plant continues a 40-year relationship between Houston-based Exxon and SABIC, which also have two shared petrochemical projects in Saudi Arabia. Though ownership is divided evenly, the companies said, Exxon operates the Texas site.

By Amanda Drane, Houston Chronicle