Photo copyright Chevron Phillips Chemical Company

Chevron Phillips Chemical Company, a joint venture formed by Chevron Corporation and Phillips 66, has officially started construction of its new petrochemical facility at Baytown, Texas. The $6 billion project has begun with the building of an ethane cracker, the company announced.

The groundbreaking ceremony marked the beginning of a new stage of expansion and development for the company on the U.S. Gulf Coast. The petrochemical complex will include an ethane cracker with a capacity of 1.5 million metric tons per year at the Cedar Bayou facility in Baytown and two polyethylene plants with a capacity of 500,000 metric tons per year to be constructed in Old Ocean, Texas. These projects will be formally launched on June 17.

Chevron Phillips Chemical estimates that the entire petrochemical complex will be complete and in operation in 2017. Overall, it will support 400 direct jobs in the long term and a further 10,000 engineering and construction jobs.

SPONSORED: Flowmeters offer versatile design and construction

According to Peter L. Cella, president and chief executive officer, the project has been carefully planned and will benefit from the company's first mover advantage to attract the strongest workers from each of the contract companies working on the project.

Work on the engineering and construction of the ethane cracker is managed by a joint venture between JGC, Inc. and Fluor Enterprises, Inc. The engineering, procurement and construction phase of the two polyethylene plants will be run by Gulf Coast Partners, a partnership between Technip USA Inc. and Zachry Industrial, Inc.