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Texas is growing, expanding with new projects

By Dawn Burleigh

The Orange Leader

 

Texas Chemical Council (TCC) is a statewide trade association of chemical manufacturing facilities in Texas. TCC represents 70 member companies who operate over 200 manufacturing and research facilities across the state.

President and CEO Hector Rivero spoke to local industries at the Industrial Exchange hosted by Orange County Economic Development and Greater Orange Area Chamber of Commerce. 

Organized in 1953, TCC was the first state trade association in the U.S. to represent the interests of the petrochemical industry. The primary concern then was to present a unified position on state tax policy.  As the chemical industry grew in size and importance in Texas, TCC expanded its representation of the chemical industry on other important issues including environmental protection, employee and process safety, energy policy, and tort reform.

TCC members produce thousands of products that improve the quality of life for billions of people around the world.  The Texas Chemical industry directly employs more than 75,000 Texans and indirectly generates nearly a half-million Texas jobs.

Rivero spoke of the changes over the last 15-20 years in the industry.

“If I was in a board meeting discussing another cracker in Texas, I would have been shot,” Rivero said. “Texas was one of the most expensive to start one, then.”

Cracking, in petroleum refining, the process by which heavy hydrocarbon molecules are broken up into lighter molecules by means of heat and usually pressure and sometimes catalysts. Cracking is the most important process for the commercial production of gasoline and diesel fuel, according to www.britannica.com.

He added it is also a highly competitive industry.

“Since 2010, we have had over 90 projects and $70 billion,” Rivero said. 

Texas is now the largest chemistry producing state and at $166 billion. Chemistry is the second-largest manufacturing industry in the state.

“The chemical industry represents the original high tech,” Rivero said. “National 150 projects were announced. Over half were in Texas.”

Rivero added the Golden Triangle received the most water during Harvey two years ago.

“It was a setback,” Rivero said. “But expansion projects have restarted.”

While Qatar is a year and a half from announcing a site, Orange is one location under consideration for the project. Chevron Chemical is expected to announce it’s site location in 2020.

“Lot’s of good news,” Rivero said. “A lot going on here.”