EPA signs off on construction of OxyChem/Mexichem Texas cracker

29 May 2014 20:42 Source:ICIS News

HOUSTON (ICIS)--The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued a final greenhouse gas (GHS) construction permit for the joint venture ethane cracker in Texas planned by Occidental Chemical (OxyChem) and Mexichem, the agency announced on Thursday.

Construction of the 1.2bn lb/year (544,000 tonnes/year) ethylene plant in Ingleside is set for the middle of this year, with operations to start in 2017, Occidental Petroleum CEO Steve Chazen has said previously. OxyChem is a division of Occidental Petroleum.

Project costs have been estimated at more than $1bn.

About 1,700 construction jobs will be created by the project, with an additional 150 permanent jobs created to operate the plant, the EPA said.

The 50:50 joint venture between OxyChem and Mexichem is known as Ingleside Ethylene.

The ethylene produced at the cracker will be used as feedstock for an existing vinyl chloride monomer (VCM) plant at Ingleside. OxyChem will sell the VCM to Mexichem, which will use it to produce polyvinyl chloride (PVC) in Mexico.

OxyChem and Mexichem announced the project in 2012 with the signing a memorandum of understanding in 2012 to evaluate its creation.

By Jeremy Pafford