Chiyoda Corporation, a Japan-based engineering company, has apparently made it to the headlines after winning a contract to construct one of the world’s biggest ethylene production facility, in the United States. Reports claim that the project is designed to tap shale gas reserves in the U.S., as non-fuel based applications for shale have gained impetus.
According to sources familiar with the development, this plant is a collaborative venture of Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) and Exxon Mobil and is projected to start operating in 2022. The plant will be located in Texas close to the Gulf of Mexico and is anticipated to cost nearly $1.35 billion (150 billion yen).
According to a company statement, Chiyoda Corporation would work with Kiewit an American construction firm, to handle all phases of the project starting with design to physical construction. In the collaboration, Chiyoda will take care of the procurement and design, cite trusted sources.
For the record, the maximum shale gas & oil generated in America was converted into LNG previously, but upon the decline in commodities price, since 2014, plans for setting up new LNG facilities are being turned down.
According to sources familiar with the development, shale-powered ethylene, which is used in the manufacture of organic chemicals, fibers, and polymers, is comparatively inexpensive to produce than ethylene generated by the conventional techniques with naphtha.
Incidentally, production technology advancements in the past few years have boosted profitability, leading to an increasing interest in the field by new players. Exxon Mobil alone plans to reportedly invest about $50 billion in the coming five years starting with this year, the majority of which will fund shale gas & oil-based operational facilities.
According to credible sources, Texas is projected to add 9 million tons of yearly ethylene manufacture capacity in between years 2017-2019, leading to a surge in operational facility construction.
For the uninitiated, the new ethylene production project marks the first United States based plant by Chiyoda.