Chevron Phillips Chemical Co. says it has introduced feedstock and begun operations of a new ethane cracker at its Cedar Bayou facility in Baytown, Texas.

At peak production, the unit will produce 1.5 million metric tons (3.3 billion lb.) per year. The company says that the unit is one of the largest and most energy efficient crackers in the world.

In September 2017, the company announced the successful commissioning and start-up of two Marlex polyethylene units in Old Ocean, Texas. The company says that together, these assets form the bulk of its $6 billion U.S. Gulf Coast Petrochemicals Project, announced in 2011.

Along with the polyethylene units, the company bought nearly 3,000 rail cars and built a rail facility with the capacity to store 1,500 rail cars that will be used to distribute PE pellets.

Ethylene produced by the new Cedar Bayou ethane cracker will supply the two new polyethylene units at Old Ocean. Those units are capable of producing products ranging from metallocene linear low-density polyethylene to advanced dual loop bimodal polyethylene resins. These resins are turned into consumer and industrial products such as plastic films and polyethylene pipe for water distribution and natural gas transport.

In addition, the ethylene will feed the company's normal alpha olefins plants, which are used for polyethylene comonomers, plasticizers, synthetic motor oils, lubricants, automotive additives, surfactants, paper sizing and other specialty applications.