Crediting shale gas, Equate Group opens new TX petrochem plant

By Luke Geiver | September 10, 2019

A global petrochemical producer with industrial complexes in North America, Kuwait and Europe is taking advantage of the abundance of U.S.-produced shale gas. Equate Group, which includes the Kuwait Olefins Company and The Dow Chemical Co., has cut the ribbon on a new ethylene glycol facility in Oyster Creek, Texas, that will begin shipping commercial quantities of product by November this year. The 750,000 mt facility will produce monoethylene and diethylene glycol, products used in a number of market applications including polyester fibers, polyethylene terephthalate bottles and packaging, antifreeze and coolants, paints, resins, deicing fluids, heat transfer fluids and construction materials.

"This is a major achievement for the EQUATE Group and will benefit both Kuwait and the U.S.," said EQUATE President and CEO Dr. Ramesh Ramachandran. "With a growing global market for EG products, it will provide us with greater flexibility to satisfy our customers' needs while capitalizing on the U.S. shale gas opportunity. This site builds on our global footprint and is part of our strategy to grow our value-added business as a leading ethylene glycol producer and supplier."

"The EQUATE Group began with a large investment in Kuwait and now comes full circle with the investment in Texas. Our ability to leverage the project execution and operational excellence expertise of Dow allowed us to deliver the project on time and on budget in the USGC which is a remarkable accomplishment," Ramachandran said.

The project achieved several milestones in its construction, including more than three million consecutive safe work hours.

EQUATE Executive Vice President Naser Al-Dousari added, "This is an important milestone in EQUATE history, adding manufacturing capacity on the U.S. Gulf Coast to satisfy customer needs in the region. EQUATE's glycol footprint in the Americas is as large as that in Kuwait. The community in Texas has been very welcoming to this investment and we look forward to being a part of this region."

The site created 55 new full-time long-term jobs, 25-35 contract jobs. It employed almost 2,000 construction workers at peak.

Earlier this year, some shale gas producers in the Permian had to shut down production to an abundance of gas volumes and a lack of takeaway, storage or processing capacity.