CBI said it has been awarded contracts by Occidental Chemical Corp. (OxyChem) for the technology license, basic engineering and front end engineering and design services for a proposed new ethane cracker that is anticipated to have capacity of 1.2 billion pounds per year of ethylene.

OxyChem and Mexico’s Mexichem earlier this year signed an agreement to evaluate a joint venture ethane cracker to be built at Occidental’s existing site in Ingleside, TX.

The scope of CBI’s work includes the basic engineering for the ethylene technology and five cracking heaters from CB&I’s Lummus Technology business sector. Feedstock for the proposed cracker is anticipated to be ethane derived from domestic shale gas. The Eagle Ford Shale is not far from the cracker site.

A final investment decision on the project is not likely for 12-18 months, said analysts at Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co. Occidental did not respond to a request for more information.

Occidental has been in the process of expanding its land holdings at Ingleside. This summer the Port of Corpus Christi accepted a $7 million bid from Oxy Ingleside Property Holdings LLC for a nearly 100-acre campus portion of the former U.S. Naval Station Ingleside (see Shale Daily, Aug. 3).

OxyChem has operated a chemical plant at Ingleside since 1987. The campus portion is the third and final piece of the former naval base to be sold. Oxy has said it plans development of the base property in phased projects worth about $1 billion. Projects could include pipeline and barge facilities to handle liquefied petroleum gas produced from the Eagle Ford Shale; a liquefied natural gas facility also is possible, along with storage for crude oil, condensate and refined products, Oxy officials have told Ingleside City officials.