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Exxon, SABIC's new $7 billion plastics facility is officially operational

The Gulf Coast Growth Ventures facility in Portland produces several products that will then be turned into everyday items like clothing fiber.

PORTLAND, Texas — Exxon and SABIC's new $7 billion facility is officially open for business. 

The facility took some 6,000 construction workers to build. After years of planning and construction the Gulf Coast Growth Ventures plant in Portland is now fully operational and Site Manager Paul Fritsch is glad to finally get the state of the art plastics plant running. 

"Really a great sense of accomplishment and pride by our workforce," Fritsch said. "You know the people that we've hired down here in the Coastal Bend and actually run this facility second to none."

Fritsch met with some of his lab staff who are now working on some 300 tests a day. They're checking to make sure everything from the water they use to the finished product are all within safety, environmental and manufacturing guidelines.

"This is where we certify all of our product," Fritsch said. "So, all of our product has to meet certain specifications from a quality standpoint. We do all of that testing here."

The plant produces several products that will then be turned into everyday items like clothing fiber and even the plastic containers you use to store your leftovers in at home.

"We are making two main finished products one of those is a high-performance polyethylene product,"  Fritsch said. "That product product goes into many things that every body uses every day things like food packaging."

Fritsch said that the facility is designed to ultimately produce 1.3 million tons a year of polyethylene and 1.1 million tons a year of mono-ethylene glycol.

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