Chevron Phillips Chemical Co. is expanding

Developing projects in North America and working with customers to find new applications for its products will be key drivers of future growth at Chevron Phillips Chemical Co., a senior executive said.

The company, based in The Woodlands, is adding new facilities and employees.

It’s only been 12 years since Chevron Corp. and Phillips Petroleum, now Phillips 66, combined their petrochemical businesses to form Chevron Phillips Chemical, but officials say the legacy operations have long experience in the field.

“The chemical industry is a very competitive industry. Everybody has a different position. Ours is good,” said Dan Coombs, the company’s senior vice president of specialties, aromatics and styrenics.

Working with customers to find solutions to their problems has been a focus of company efforts. That’s especially true in the automotive industry, where fuel efficiency standards are being tightened.

During a question-and-answer session with a small group of reporters at company headquarters, Coombs displayed a turbo­charger outlet used in Volkswagen vehicles that is made from chemicals produced by the company. The shell is lighter than alternatives, making engines more fuel efficient.

The chemical used in the device is called polyphenylene sulfide, or PPS, a high-performance plastic that sounds metallic when struck.

A form of it is marketed by Chevron Phillips Chemical under the brand name Ryton.

Coombs said the automotive industry accounts for a large portion of the company’s Ryton sales.

Other commercial applications for polyphenylene sulfide include electrical insulation, gaskets and packings.

Chevron Phllips Chemical has about 4,700 employees worldwide. Coombs said that number is expected to continue growing over time through projects in North America.

The company also has extensive operations in the Middle East, which historically was the biggest driver of the company’s growth. Now it’s North America, Coombs said.

“I am confident we can stack up with just about anybody by delivering new products, our marketing capabilities, and our strategy,” Coombs said.

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