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Chevron Phillips Chemical Co. LP broke ground this week for its U.S. Gulf Coast (USGC) petrochemicals project at the Cedar Bayou plant in Baytown, TX. The project includes a 1.5 million metric ton/year (3.3 billion pounds/year) ethane cracker to be built at Cedar Bayou and two 500,000 metric ton/year (1.1 billion pounds/year) capacity polyethylene facilities to be built in Old Ocean, TX (see Daily GPI, Aug. 16, 2013). The engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) phase of the ethane cracker project will be executed through a joint venture of JGC (USA) Inc. and Fluor Enterprises Inc. Gulf Coast Partners, a partnership of Technip USA Inc. and Zachry Industrial Inc., will execute EPC for the two new polyethylene facilities, for which groundbreaking is scheduled June 17.

During the recent Gastech Conference in Seoul, South Korea, GAIL (India) Ltd. said it had signed a memorandum of understanding with Japan's Chubu Electric Power Co. Inc. GAIL and Chubu intend to explore possibilities for collaboration in joint liquefied natural gas (LNG) procurement. The companies said they will also seek to collaborate on shipping optimization. Chubu and GAIL are large LNG importers and said they have "considerable synergy" between their LNG business profiles. "It is assessed that with GAIL joining hands with Chubu for jointly pursuing LNG procurement and other allied business opportunities, such a collaboration shall augment GAIL's efforts to aggressively source LNG volumes on competitive terms and would be a win-win proposition for both companies," GAIL said. The move is aligned with the company's efforts to establish Asia LNG Forum, which is intended to be an LNG buyers' club. GAIL also is working to establish a regional trading hub for LNG in Asia as well as a Asian gas price index.

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