Eastman Chemical has awarded a front-end engineering and design (FEED) contract to Fluor for a $1.6bn gasification project along the Texas Gulf Coast.

Valued at $12m, the initial FEED contract was booked during the second quarter of 2007.

The gasification project will use mainly petroleum coke instead of natural gas to produce industrial chemicals such as methanol, hydrogen and ammonia.

The plant, based in Beaumont, Texas, is expected to begin operating in 2011.