Construction under way for Texas ethane cracker

Ingleside Ethylene LLC, a 50-50 joint venture of Occidental Chemical Corp. (OxyChem) and Mexichem SAB de CV (Mexichem), has started construction on a planned ethane cracker to be built at OxyChem’s existing plant in Ingleside, Tex.

The JV held a symbolic groundbreaking ceremony on Dec. 17 for the cracker, on which actual construction began during this year’s second quarter, OxyChem said.

Once completed, OxyChem will operate the cracker, which remains on schedule to be commissioned during first-quarter 2017, the company said.

The JV estimated its total investment into the project at about $1.5 billion.

First announced in November 2013 (OGJ Online, Nov. 1, 2013), the 1.2 billion-lb/year ethane cracker will provide OxyChem with an ongoing source of ethylene for manufacturing vinyl chloride monomer, which Mexichem will use to produced polyvinyl chloride (PVC) resin and PVC piping systems, OxyChem said.

OxyChem previously let a $1 billion contract to CB&I, Houston, for the engineering, procurement, and construction of the cracker as well as associated utilities and offsites (OGJ Online, Dec. 2, 2013).

The cracker, which will process ethane feedstocks from growing US shale gas supplies, received final greenhouse gas prevention of significant deterioration construction permits from the US Environmental Protection Agency earlier in the year (OGJ Online, May 29, 2014).

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