American multinational oil and gas company ExxonMobil and Saudi Basic Industries (SABIC), a Saudi diversified manufacturing company has planned to construct the world’s largest ethane steam cracker in South Texas.
The announcement came right after the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality approved the project’s air quality permit. According to Houston Business Journal, the project now has the final environmental regulatory approval to construct a 1.8 million metric tonne ethane steam cracker, two polyethylene units and a monoethylene glycol unit.
Reports said that the project will cost approximately $10 billion.
Darren Woods, chairman and CEO of ExxonMobil said that the project is one of the many ‘key projects’ that contribute to ExxonMobil’s ‘earnings potential’. “Building the world’s largest steam cracker, with state-of-the-art technology, on the doorstep of rapidly growing Permian production gives this project significant scale and feedstock advantages,” he added.
In the manufacturing process, the plant will convert natural gas to ethylene to manufacture plastic bottles, containers and polyester clothing.
With the project construction, 6,000 new jobs will be created. Impact DataSource conducted a preliminary study which estimated that the project will generate more than $22 billion in economic output around that time.
Once the facility is up and running, more than 600 permanent jobs will be created with an average of $90,000 per year. And during the first six years of the operation will generate economic benefits of $50 billion as per Impact DataSource estimates.
ExxonMobil and SABIC have a strong presence in Houston.