03 August 1998 00:00 [Source: ACN]
The Exxon cracker complex in Singapore is set to accelerate now that it is firming up plans for its downstream projects.
Talks are underway with Bechtel to build Exxon's 450 000 tonne/year PE facility.
Exxon has already awarded Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding (MES) a Yen10bn (US$71.63m) contract to build its 275 000 tonne/year PP plant.
Construction will commence in January 1999, an MES official said.
Toyo Engineering, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Fluor Daniel and Foster Wheeler are vying for Exxon's isononyl alcohol project and are preparing proposals, ACN was told. The capacity of this plant will be 150 000 tonne/year. The 800 000 tonne/year steam cracker on the Jurong Island is expected to start up in Q3 2000. Chiyoda and Kellogg are building the complex. Piling work is expected to start next year. Brown & Root is to provide the construction management.
The outlook for downstream offtake also looks good. The Japanese have expressed much interest in Exxon's projects.
Asahi Chemical Industry is eyeing Exxon as one of its potential partners for its 100 000 tonne/year hdPE project, and Mitsubishi Chemical is also said to be keen on an hdPE investment (ACN 20 July, p32).
Mitsubishi is considering offtaking ethylene from Exxon for its styrene investment but it has yet to be decided. Mitsui Chemicals is also expected to offtake propylene from Exxon for its planned 200 000 tonne/year phenol project as it fears the Mobil project might be delayed.
An ethylene glycol project may offtake ethylene from Exxon if the project starts up earlier, a Singapore Economic Development Board source has said (see story below).
Some industry sources play down the solidarity of the cracker project.
The Exxon board was expected to make a decision on the project in July following a major review but as yet there has been no announcement on whether or not the cracker will go ahead.
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