Sabic & ExxonMobil Evaluating 1.8mn Tons/Year Record Cracker

The Saudi petchems giant and the US integrated major are looking to use cheap shale gas to feed a world-scale cracker on the US Gulf coast. Aramco JV Petro Rabigh plans to add new units.

Sabic and ExxonMobil have announced that they are studying prospects for jointly building an ethylene plant and linked derivatives units in Texas or Louisiana, to take advantage of relatively low cost locally produced gas from shale formations.

ExxonMobil says that the proposed cracker will have capacity to produce a record 1.8mn tons/year of ethylene, which would feed two polyethylene units and a monoethylene glycol plant. MEES estimates that such a cracker would require 170mn cfd of ethane feedstock. Sabic first began talks with potential partners for development of a US ethylene project in early 2013, when it was considering “at least one or two investments” to capitalize on the ready availability of cheap US shale gas. (CONTINUED - 629 WORDS)