Chevron Phillips, a joint venture by Chevron Corporation and ConocoPhillips, plans to complete the project in 2017.
The company announced earlier this year that it would explore the project’s feasibility and now has signed Shaw Energy and Chemicals to design the cracker. Chevron Phillips will construct the ethane cracker at its Cedar Bayou complex in Baytown, with a capacity to produce 3.3 billion pounds of the ethylene per year.
The polyethylene facilities will have an annual capacity of 1.1 billion pounds. Chevron Phillips said it will decide in early 2012 whether to locate those plants at the Baytown complex or near its Sweeny facilities, further south on the Gulf Coast.
Ethane is cracked, or broken down, to produce ethylene, which is then processed into polyethylene, a plastic used to manufacture every day goods.
The project is subject to regulatory and permit approval by the federal Environmental Protection Agency and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. Chevron Phillips expects to finalize those approvals in 2013.