A $1.7-billion expansion of Formosa Plastics’ Point Comfort, Texas, site could create an estimated 1,800 construction jobs, according to the company. The Chinese petrochemical company announced the project this week, noting that the expansion would enable it to “take advantage of the increasingly reliable and low-cost domestic natural gas.”

The investment consists of a new 800,000 MT/Y olefins cracker, an associated 600,000 MT/Y propane dehydrogenation (PDH) unit and a new 300,000 MT/Y low density polyethylene (LDPE) resin plant. It will create an estimated 1800 construction jobs and, once completed, an additional 225 long-term operating and maintenance jobs, according to the company.

“We anticipate construction completion and start-up in 2016,” said Randy Smith, site vice president/general manager. “This is a tremendous vote of confidence in the U.S. economy, the State of Texas and the Gulf Coast region’s workforce.”

The project marks the third major expansion of the Point Comfort site. The 1,600 acre petrochemical complex has thirteen production units and a variety of support facilities. The first plane went online in 1983. An additional investment of $1.5 billion was made in 1994, followed by a $900-million expansion in 1998.