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Nova Chemical

Overview of the Industry

Bayport Industrial District Advantages & Incentives

Workforce & Sample Wages



Chemical Industry Members

Chemical Industry Associations

Industry Events

Overview of the Industry

In 2002, the Houston area had 382 chemical manufacturing facilities employing more than 34,200 people. By 2004, Houston�s Gulf Coast region had nearly 40 percent of the nation�s base petrochemicals manufacturing capacity and dominated U.S. production of three major resins: polyethylene (38.7 percent of U.S. capacity), polypropylene (48.4 percent of U.S. capacity) and polyvinyl chloride (35.9 percent of U.S. capacity). When coupled with Louisiana, the Gulf Coast is where 80 percent of the nation�s petrochemical industry is concentrated.

The chemical and plastics industry of Bay Area Houston remains one of the main pillars of the region's economy with much of the industry concentrated at the Bayport Industrial District which spans the cities of La Porte and Pasadena .

The Bayport Industrial District is comprised of 12 square miles (8,500 acres) of land that has been designated for chemical and plastics manufacturing industries.Only 45% of the district is occupied, leaving 4,600 acres available for development and expansion projects.A map of the region is available in the maps section of this web site.

This district features a concentration of more than 60 international companies involved in the production, blending, and distribution of core "building blocks" of everyday materials. Many of these products are shipped as pellets, but some are also shipped in their solid or liquid form to be further polymerized into more complex compounds.

Common products manufactured in Bayport are ethylene oxide (including derivatives), polyolefins and polyethylene. Some of the final products that use these compounds include:

Liquid detergents, disinfectants, printing ink, pharmaceuticals
Ethylene Glycols
Antifreeze, polyester films (computer disks/video tapes), polyester fibers (fabric), polyester resins (bottles)
Ethylene Oxide
Soaps, detergents, cosmetics, glycols
Glycol Ethers
Paint and ink solvents, dyes, floor wax, brake fluids
Plastic wraps, boxes and trays for food packaging, plastic bottles for sauces, condiments, milk, mineral water and carbonated beverages. Also used in tubes, cans, bottles and caps for beauty products and perfumes, as well as in bottles and cans for house-hold supplies.

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Bayport Industrial District Advantages & Incentives

The Bayport Industrial District is located in Harris County, which features an aggressive tax abatement program for modernization projects such as facility replacement and upgrades. The three regional programs available for companies to utilize include:

Harris County Tax Abatement
The Bayport complex is located within Harris County and businesses located in the county may apply for a tax abatement on property taxes. Minimum requirements to be considered for an abatement are 25 new/retained jobs and a minimum of a $1 million in capital investments. The maximum abatement is calculated at $1 million per job.

La Porte Industrial District Agreement
The City of La Porte operates two Industrial Districts within its ETJ, the Battleground Industrial District and the Bayport Industrial District. Within these Industrial Districts the City has established tax incentives to encourage economic growth and expansion of existing facilities. New companies that locate in these districts receive a rate of 53% of ad valorem taxes. Existing companies that make improvements to their property / infrastructure over and above the base value can look forward to receiving a rate of 30% of ad valorem taxes on their new construction.

Pasadena Industrial District Agreement
The City of Pasadena offers a progressive property tax abatement plan that requires no minimum job requirement and a minimum $1 million capital investment. This policy is extended to new construction and/or upgrades to current facilities.

Additional Opportunities from TCEQ
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality�s (TCEQ) Emissions Reduction Incentive Grants Program provides grants to eligible projects in nonattainment areas and affected counties. The grants offset the incremental costs associated with reducing emissions of oxides of nitrogen (NOx) from high-emitting internal combustion engines. The types of projects that may be eligible for funding include:
  • Purchase or lease, replacement and/or retrofitting of non-road equipment
  • Purchase or lease, replacement and/or retrofit or add-on of emission-reduction technology of stationary equipment
  • Refueling Infrastructure (for qualifying fuel)
  • On-Site Electrification and Idle Reduction Infrastructure
  • Demonstration of New Technology

Our office has successfully worked with TCEQ on chemical plant projects involving air emission credits as well as Harris County on tax abatement applications for such companies as Huish Detergents, Nisseki, Kurrary/Septon, Haldor Tops�e, Reagan USA, and Chusei/Nissan Chemical.

For more information about available local, regional, and state-wide incentive programs, please refer to our incentives page. For more details and cost analysis, please contact our Marketing Director, Paul Chavez.

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The plants located in Bayport produce nearly half the US capacity for polymers while 3 out of 5 chemical (polymers and plastics) workers in the US are employed in Bay Area Houston. To view the major employers for the Chemicals and Plastics industry in our region, please click here. Otherwise, if you would like to review other job descriptions and salary information, please contact our office for a complete list of surveyed positions.

Sample Wages of Chemical Employees in Bay Area Houston
Position Salary
Controller $97,208
Environmental Manager $95,653
HR / Personnel Manager $81,728
Maintenance Manager $92,636
Office Manager $45,782
Plant Manager $124,365
Production - Supervisor $71,232
Training Supervisor / Coordinator $71,110

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Bay Area Houston has a dominant presence with the chemical manufacturing scene. The Texas Workforce Commission counted over 27,000 employees in the chemical manufacturing field (September 2004) and historical trends show that this number has remained steady over the past 12 months.

So it is no accident that our region is served by many educational institutions that have programs designed to train and certify employees for chemical plant production and management. These programs range from refresher courses to advanced training and simulators. Some of these programs can be used for college credit towards degrees in the field.

Area colleges and universities offer course work on troubleshooting, process chemistry and quality control. Customized course work can be developed and administered by either the college or in tandem with company training guidelines.

Our office has developed and successfully executed several workforce training grants for area companies through our local colleges and the Texas Workforce Commission. The Skills Development Grant funds are designed to cover the costs of program design, actual instruction, texts and reusable equipment. These funds are awarded to the learning centers on behalf of the companies that apply.

In previous years, companies applied individually for skills development funds, however the trend lately has been to group similar industries together for a strong education training program application. In the 2003-2004 round of funding, the Chemical Consortium Application from San Jacinto College received over $108,000 in employee training dollars. This consortium consisted of the following companies: Crown Central Petroleum, Lubrizol, Lyondell-Citgo, GB Biosciences (Syngenta), Kaneka, Rohm & Haas, FMC, Evalca, and Septon. In addition, Evalca applied for additional funds in 2003 and was awarded $72,000 for specialized workforce training programs.

For more information about applying for skills development funding for your company, please give us a call. A complete listing of area school districts and higher education institutions can be found on our education page.

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Supply Streams

Chemical and plastic companies located in Bay Area Houston, have a vast array of sources for raw materials to be used in production.
  • Nitrogen, oxygen, high pressure steam and hydrogen are supplied via an intricate system of above and underground pipelines.
  • A multitude of feedstocks such as natural gas, ethylene and propylene are available via pipelines that criss-cross the industrial district.
  • Two chemical terminalling operations for product movement by barge or ship in Bayport and Barbor�s Cut (see below).

Water & Wastewater

The Cities of La Porte and Pasadena provide limited potable water access in the Bayport Industrial District while the Coastal Water Authority (CWA) owns and operates a water conveyance system that provides industrial (non-potable) water for all plants in the district.

The Gulf Coast Waste Disposal Authority operates an industrial wastewater treatment facility in the Bayport complex that process liquid wastes from the regions chemical and plastics facilities. This organization owns and operates municipal wastewater treatment facilities, which provides tertiary treatment and ultraviolet light disinfection. The Gulf Coast Waste Disposal Authority site is the only facility in the United States permitted to operate like a utility.


Bay Area Houston features extensive rail access via the Union Pacific. For details about the UP service areas, point your browser here.

Union Pacific also features extensive information about the Port of Houston's interface with available rail services, storage and capacity. To review this information, please point your browser here.

Deepwater Seaport & Container Terminals

Of special note to Bay Area Houston are the Bayport Container Terminal, Barbour's Cut ContainerTerminal and the Port of Houston.

The Port of Houston was originally dedicated by President Woodrow Wilson in 1914 and has grown into a 25-mile channel of diversified public and private facilities that begins just four miles east of downtown Houston and continues to the Gulf of Mexico. The port is ranked first in the United States in foreign waterborne commerce and second in total tonnage. The port region is made up of the port authority and the 150-plus private industrial companies along the ship channel.

The Bayport Container and Cruise Terminal is currently in the final planning stages to meet the increasing growth demands from local industries for material transportation internationally and around the United States. In January 2004, the Port of Houston Authority accepted and signed the construction permit authorizing the Bayport Container and Cruise Terminal.

The terminal property is located on the western shore of Galveston Bay with the surrounding land dominated by chemical and plastics production facilities of the Bayport Industrial District. The development plan calls for Bayport to be constructed in phases to accommodate a five percent annual growth rate. Each phase will be built according to market demand.

At ultimate build-out, Bayport will feature 7,000 feet of wharf dredged to 40 feet, a container storage yard, an intermodal rail yard, truck gate facilities, a co-development area and 30 new buildings, including facilities for administration, maintenance, marine emergency and other services.

Bayport will serve up to seven ships simultaneously with the ability to handle annual throughput of 1.4 million container lifts a year or about 2.3 million TEUs. The wharves will be equipped with 18 wharf cranes and 54 rubber tire gantry cranes. On opening day, Bayport will be ISO 14001 compliant.

The most modern intermodal facility on the U.S. Gulf Coast, Barbours Cut Container Terminal was designed with one priority in mind: vessel productivity. The terminal's six berths provide 6,000 feet of continuous quay. Twelve wharf cranes ensure efficient and reliable handling of containers. The facility also includes a roll-on/roll-off platform, a LASH dock, a cruise terminal, 230 acres of paved marshaling area and 255,000 square foot of warehouse space and acres of open marshaling and storage area. A computerized inventory control system tracks the status and location of individual containers.

The terminal also features electronic data interchange capabilities. A comprehensive refrigerated food warehouse is located near the terminal. Combined with competitive tariff rates, this facility's efficiency makes it an ideal port of call for shippers with cargo originating from or destined for the US Midwest and West Coast.

Highway Access

Bay Area Houston and the plants of Bayport are served by several industrial grade highways including SH 146 (89,000 vehicles per day) and SH 225 (110,000 vehicles per day). Additional access to Bayport can be found via Interstate 10 (east - west) and Interstate 45 (north - south).

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Chemical Industry Members

Company Description
Air Products and Chemicals Air Products serves customers in technology, energy, healthcare and industrial markets worldwide with a unique portfolio of products, services and solutions, providing atmospheric gases, process and specialty gases, performance materials and chemical intermediates.
American Acryl American Acryl produces acrylic acid, a chemical widely used in the manufacture of personal care and household products, including such items as disposable diapers, hand lotion, detergent, shampoo, acrylic yarn and water-based acrylic paints.
Evalca Produce a plastic resin used in the packaging of food products and for vapor sealing. Nike also uses this resin in the Air Soles shoes. EvalCa has recently opened their Research and Technical facility at the Bayport site.
Innovene As a leading player in the olefins and derivatives field, Innovene is among one of the five largest independent petrochemical companies in the world. Their products are used to make a wide variety of plastic goods, including food and drink containers and wrappings, pipe work, automotive parts and moldings of all kinds.
Kaneka Texas Kaneka Texas�is a specialty plastics manufacturing company. We have two main business groups known as Modifier and Eperan. The Modifier group produces impact modifiers and processing aids for the PVC and acrylic polymer industry. These products can be found in consumer packaging especially bottles and films. Another application is sheet such as stock for credit cards. The acrylic products can be found in vinyl siding, windows, and door profiles. The Eperan group manufactures foamed polyolefins used in protective packaging for computers and automotive parts such as bumper cores and side impact parts.
NOVA Chemical Focused on production of styrene - a monomer used to produce various grades of polystyrene, EPS (expandable polystyrene) and other styrenic type copolymers. End uses include food packaging such as cups, plates, meat trays, as well as medical equipment, TV housings, refrigerator linings and shelving, toys, utensils, computers and automobiles.
Odfjell USA Specialize in chemical storage for shipping around the world. Odfjell sends products with over 200 ships out of Bayport and the Port of Houston each year.
TOTAL Petrochemicals USA TOTAL Petrochemicals is a world scale producer of polypropylene, polyethylene, styrenics, polystyrene, base chemicals, and transportation fuels. Headquartered in Houston, Texas, the Bayport site produces a High Density Polyethylene that is used in products such as film, pipe, fiber, molded products for consumer, industrial and automotive uses.
US Development Group U.S. Development Group (USD) manages the entire process of designing, constructing, operating and marketing a nationwide network of rail facilities providing innovative options for customer-driven rail logistics solutions for: railcar storage, unit-train staging, bulk railcar loading/offloading, railcar maintenance, rail fleet management and railcar-truck transloading. These options typically have been inaccessible or uneconomical to customers attempting to manage their rail supply and distribution processes within the constraints of the present infrastructure of the railroads. USD achieves solutions through the design of its rail facilities - supported by its Customer Service Center in Houston. USD owns and manages the following rail logistics facilities: Bayport Rail Terminal and Deer Park Rail Terminal (Houston, TX) and Lomita Rail Terminal (Carson, CA) with future projects being targeted in the west, southeast and northeastern United States.

For a complete listing of chemical companies in the region, please click here.

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Chemical Industry Associations

Association Description
Association of Bayport Companies (ABC) A voluntary alliance of approximately 60 chemical manufacturers, refiners, and supporting distribution/terminal facility managers in the Bayport region.
Bay Area Community Advisory Panel (BAYCAP) A community discussion group that serves the surrounding communities of Bayport with discussion and tours of area plants and processes.
East Harris County Manufacturers Association (EHCMA) A non-profit professional association of approximately 125 chemical manufacturers, refiners, and supporting distribution/terminal facility managers in east Harris County, Texas. Founded in 1987, EHCMA is the largest network of its type in the world.
Texas Chemical Council Texas Chemical Council (TCC) is a statewide trade association of chemical manufacturing facilities in Texas. Currently, 85 member companies produce vital products for our way of life, fulfill educational and quality-of-life needs, and provide employment and career opportunities for some 70,000 Texans at more than 200 separate facilities across the state. Their combined economic activity sustains about 400,000 jobs for Texans.
American Chemistry Council The American Chemistry Council represents the leading companies engaged in the business of chemistry. Council members apply the science of chemistry to make innovative products and services that make people's lives better, healthier and safer.

The Council is committed to improved environmental, health and safety performance through Responsible Care, common sense advocacy designed to address major public policy issues, and health and environmental research and product testing. The business of chemistry is a $450 billion enterprise and a key element of the nation's economy. It is the nation's largest exporter, accounting for ten cents out of every dollar in U.S. exports. Chemistry companies invest more in research and development than any other business sector.

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Chemicals & Plastics Industry Events

Conference Dates Location Description
Energy Technology Venture Capital Conference January 25-26, 2006 Marriott Westchase Hotel, Houston, TX The Energy Technology Venture Capital Conference assembles a selective group of growing energy technology companies with an investor audience of venture capitalists, private equity and corporate investors, high net-worth individuals and related financial professionals.
INFORMEX 2006 February 14 - 17, 2006 Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, FL Now in its 22nd year, INFORMEX is the custom chemical industry's premier marketing event. It's our reputation as a vibrant sourcing arena that has driven our growth... year after year after year.

With nearly 480 custom chemical companies and over 4000 specialty and fine chemical professionals in attendance, INFORMEX remains the most dynamic industry event for connecting you to the resources you need!

International Polyolefins Conference 2006 February 26 - March 1, 2006 Wyndham Greenspoint Hotel, Houston, TX This conference features technical programs as well as over 60 exhibitors from the polymer industry. Discussions will include advancements in polymers & catalyst developments, nanotechnology in polyolefins, foams & extrusion technology, as well as cost reductions, process improvements & Six Sigma.
FlexPO 2006 March 15-17, 2006 Singapore Marriott Hotel, Singapore The eleventh international conference on new innovations in polyolefins & elastomers arrives in Galveston. This show will feature presentations and guest speakers from around the globe to highlight productivity and innovations between polyolefins and engineered thermoplastics.
National Petrochemical and Refiners Association (NPRA) 2006 Annual Meeting March 19-21, 2006 Grand America Hotel, Salt Lake City, UT The Annual Meeting is the world's premier refining meeting, assembling key executives and technical experts from refining and marketing organizations worldwide, as well as representatives from associated industries. The general session features high profile speakers who will address current issues of widespread importance to the refining industry. Leading industry experts will share valuable insights on major issues, including energy and environmental initiatives and the latest technical developments.
31st World Petrochemical Review March 20-22, 2006 InterContinental Hotel, Houston, TX The 31st World Petrochemical Review will include a series of strong, in-depth presentations by DeWitt's senior, industry seasoned consultants along with invited commercial executives from the industry.
CMAI 2006 World Petrochemical Conference March 21-23, 2006 Hilton Americas-Houston, Houston, TX Whether you are managing chemicals, plastics, or fibers businesses, providing financial analysis, or developing capital plans, this conference meets and exceeds your requirements for a concise and connected analysis of future conditions. Last year�s conference focused on the critical macro issues for the chemicals, plastics, and fiber industries. Additional sessions focused on Aromatics & Fiber Intermediates, Olefins & Polyolefins, and Chlor-Alkali & Vinyls.
2006 NPRA International Petrochemical Conference March 26-28, 2006 Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, San Antonio, TX The International Petrochemical Conference is the world's largest and most prestigious conference representing the petrochemical industry.

The meeting consists of a variety of sessions covering key political, economic, and environmental issues affecting the petrochemical industry. The sessions emphasize global competitiveness in the petrochemical business and are presented by recognized experts in the areas of petrochemical markets, economics and politics.

Bio 2006 April 9-12, 2006 McCormick Place Convention Center, Chicago, IL The Bio 2006 show is where the healthcare, agricultural, environmental & industrial sectors converge. Many companies, from Abbott's laboratories to the smallest start-ups will exhibit at this show. Attendees also include world class universities, venture capital groups, & the already established community of biotech industries.

Offshore Technology Conference May 1-4, 2006 Reliant Center, 1 Reliant Park, Houston, TX Founded in 1969, the Offshore Technology Conference is the world�s foremost event for the development of offshore resources in the fields of drilling, exploration, production, and environmental protection. OTC is held annually at Reliant Center in Houston.

OTC ranks among the largest 200 trade shows held annually in the United States and is among the 10 largest meetings in terms of attendance. The 51,320 participants in 2005 represent OTC�s highest attendance since 1985 � arriving from 110 nations around the world.

IACC Conference and Expo May 23-25, 2006 George R. Brown Convention Center, Houston, TX The 15th Annual International Air Cargo Conference featuring the air, land & sea shipping services & products will see senior executives representing airports, ports, airlines, freight forwarders, truck carriers, customs brokers, product/service suppliers, manufacturers, distributors, importers, exporters, government officials and commercial shippers from throughout the nation and the world.
National Plastics Expo 2006 June 19-23, 2006 McCormick Place, Chicago, IL Every three years the Society�s plastics exposition and conference, NPE, brings together a cross-section of virtually the entire U.S. plastics industry � manufacturers of machinery and equipment, raw material suppliers, laminators, fabricators, manufacturers of rein-forced plastics products, plastic film and sheeting producers, and tool, die and moldmakers.

Visitors include representatives from major plastics-using industries such as automotive, appliance, packaging, electrical/electronic, furniture and construction, as well as from plastics and plastics-related companies. Typically, visitors come from more than 105 countries, with substantial attendance from Canada, Europe, Latin America, Mexico, Japan and Southeast Asia.

Offshore Communications Conference November 1-3, 2006 Marriott Westchase Hotel & Convention Center, Houston, TX The only international event focusing on communications technologies for the offshore oil & gas and marine industries! With an improved Technical Program, and keynote speakers addressing the delegates about topics which will provide insight to the demanding offshore environment and the need for innovative solution�s and how to improve existing technologies, OCC 2006 promises to be bigger and better than ever.
2006 USA Chlor-Alkali Conference November 2, 2006 The Four Seasons Hotel, Houston, TX This conference focuses on how key developments are affecting the dynamics of the chlor-alklai industry. The panel will discuss several issues facing the industry, such as profitability and stability, the impact of the Middle East, the flow of caustic soda imports from East Asia to the West coast of the USA, and the burgeoning demand for chlorine in China.

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Last Update: February 10, 2006