ORANGE, Texas — A groundbreaking ceremony was held Tuesday afternoon in Orange County for an $8.5 billion polymers plant that is expected to bring more than 500 full-time jobs to the county.
The new Golden Triangle Polymers Company plant near the Orange County Airport along Texas Highway 87 in Orange is a joint venture between Chevron Phillips Chemical and Qatar Energy. Chevron Phillips holds a 51% share of the plant.
Ahmad Saeed Al-Amoodi, QatarEnergy, Executive Vice President of Surface Development and Sustainability spoke at Tuesday's ceremony.
Orange County Judge John Gothia and Larry McManus, of the Texas governor's office also spoke.
The plant, which will produce Marlex polyethylene, is expected to begin operating in 2026.
The plant is "expected to contribute $50 billion in residual economic impacts for the community" over the next 20 years, according to the release.
Chevron Phillips Chemical President, CEO Bruce Chinn tells 12News it's exciting to finally see everyone's hard work come to life.
"It's been a project that's been in the works since 2017, 2018 and it's great to have this milestone and for us to be able to move forward with this project here in Orange," Chinn said.
The plant will export 2.2 billion pounds of polyethylene a year while being environmentally friendly and reducing emissions by 25%.
Orange County leaders are looking forward to the opportunities that are coming to the region.
"We're providing jobs not only with this facility, but with the other things the support industry that comes with this," Gothia said. "There will be a lot of jobs provided through that and that gives our families a chance to stay her and means a lot to me."
During the groundbreaking ceremony, The Golden Triangle Polymers Company presented a check to Lamar State College Orange.
The $1.3 million check was donated to help facilitate the purchase of a Polaris Hands-on-Training 3 Glycol Distillation Trainer, where LSCO Industrial Systems students can train, according to a news release from Lamar State College Orange.
The unit will be 24-feet long, 35-feet high and 11-feet wide and will include differential pressure transmitters, temperature transmitters and industrial process instruments.
LSCO President Dr. Thomas Johnson says they couldn't be more grateful for the donation and continued support from the Golden Triangle Polymers Company.
“Golden Triangle Polymers Company’s new world-class polymers plant represents an investment in the future generations of residents of Orange, Orange County, and the entire Southeast Texas area as well as Southwest Louisiana," said Johnson.
LSCO Industrial Systems Program Director Cheryl January says Golden Triangle Polymers Company understands the important role an educated workforce plays in the success of a global operation.
"We are incredibly grateful and proud to be the recipient of this enormously generous gift to our college and to our current and future students,” said January.
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This is a developing story. We will update with more if and when we receive more confirmed information.