Pre-construction work is underway for a project to build an $8.5-billion industrial plant in Orange, Texas, that would produce polyethylene resins used for various goods including food and medicine packaging.

Owner Golden Triangle Polymers Company LLC, a joint venture of Chevron Phillips Chemical Co. and QatarEnergy, expects to complete construction and begin production at the plant in 2026. 

The owner says it expects about 4,500 construction jobs will be involved with the project. CPChem is acting as construction manager for the project, and has selected a team of contractors for different pieces of the project. 

PCL Industrial Construction Co. is building seven plant cracking furnaces, while Technip Stone & Webster Process Technology Inc. is handling engineering and procurement for the furnaces, the owner says. A joint venture of JGC America Inc. and Kiewit Energy Group Inc. is responsible for engineering, procurement and construction of additional portions of the ethane cracker. 

The contracting team also includes a joint venture of Zachry Industrial Inc. and DL USA Inc., for engineering, procurement and construction of polyethylene units, according to Golden Triangle Polymers.

Utilities and infrastructure are under the scope of BMZ Third Coast Partners, a joint venture of Burns & McDonnell Engineering Co. and Zachry Industrial Inc. W.T. Byler Co. is managing heavy civil work, as well as construction of a rail and storage-in-transit yard. Emerson Process Management is handling the plant’s automation.

The plans call for the facility to include a 2,080 KTA ethane cracker that will be among the largest in the world, according to Emerson, as well as two 1,000 KTA high-density polyethylene units. CPChem will operate the plant.

The location, near Port Arthur on the Gulf Coast, was picked in part for its access to Permian Basin shale natural gas liquid reserves, the owners previously said. Ethane crackers use natural gas to produce ethylene. 

CPChem and QatarEnergy announced the partnership in 2019. They are also currently building a petrochemical facility in Qatar that they say will include the largest ethane cracker in the Middle East.