Chevron Phillips Chemical launches $6 billion in Gulf Coast projects

Chevron Phillips Chemical Co. said Thursday that its board signed off on $6 billion worth of Gulf Coast petrochemicals projects that were proposed in 2011.

“We remain in the first mover position as we take another critical step in executing a project that will benefit our customers, suppliers, local communities and existing and future employees,” Pete Cella, president and CEO of Chevron Phillips Chemical, said in a statement. “We are able to realize this important milestone thanks to continued strong growth in demand for our products, shale resource development in the United States, and the tremendous support of our owners.”

An ethane cracker will be built at Chevron Phillips Chemical’s Cedar Bayou plant in Baytown and two polyethylene units will be built at a site in Old Ocean, near Chevron Phillips Chemical’s Sweeny plant.

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Construction is expected to start in early 2014 with startup slated for 2017.

The company says about 400 long-term direct jobs will be created as well as 10,000 engineering and construction jobs.

Site preparation is underway, equipment has been ordered, expansion of needed infrastructure has begun and the company has inked a contract for fabrication of the rail cars needed to supply product to customers.

The Woodlands-based Chevron Phillips Chemical also said Thursday that it had awarded an engineering, procurement and construction contract to a joint venture between JGC and Fluor Enterprises for the ethane cracker part of the project.

A similar contract has been awarded to Gulf Coast Partners, itself a partnership between Technip USA and Zachry Industrial, for the polyethylene facilities.