Two new petrochemical projects are underway along the Gulf Coast as the sector’s second wave of expansion rolls on, despite analyst projections of abundant supplies, lower prices and a potential industry downturn in the coming years.
Chevron Phillips Chemical says it has signed a deal with Qatar Petroleum to develop an $8 billion plant along the Gulf Coast in a project that would generate thousands of construction jobs and, as The Houston Chronicle reports, represents the Middle Eastern country’s first major petrochemical project in the U.S.
The mega project rivals the scale of the ExxonMobil petrochemical plant near Corpus Christi, which would become one of the biggest petrochemical plants in Texas when completed in 2022.
The London petrochemical company Ineos, owned by Britain’s richest man, also recently made a final decision to expand its Chocolate Bayou plant in Alvin, south of Houston
The expansions come even as the outlook for the petrochemical industry has grown gloomy. Chemical prices and profits have plunged or the past year as new plants and new supplies of chemicals, particularly those related to plastics, have come online and a supply glut has begun to emerge.
Chevron Phillips hasn’t named the location for the new plant. The company previously has confirmed it is considering Orange and Sweeny, Texas, as sites for the potential expansion, but is also considering locations in Louisiana. Read the full story.