30 November 2004 03:26 [Source: ICIS news]
SINGAPORE (CNI)--ExxonMobil is discussing with the Singapore government the possibility of building a second naphtha cracker in the country, industry sources told CNI on Tuesday.
In Singapore, ExxonMobil currently operates two refineries with a total capacity of 580 000 bbl/day and one 800 000 tonne/year cracker.
A government official confirmed ExxonMobil's interest in a new cracker project in Singapore. "We're still talking with ExxonMobil and nothing has been finalised," he said.
In response to a query on the company's plan, an ExxonMobil spokeswoman said: "We can't discuss our forward business plan." She neither confirmed nor denied the cracker plan.
Industry sources said that ExxonMobil's new cracker would have a capacity of 1m tonne/year, and the company has yet to conduct a feasibility study for the project.
They said that feedstock supply for the new cracker would not be a problem because of the excess naphtha supply from ExxonMobil's two crackers. "If they do build the second cracker, ExxonMobil's naphtha demand-supply situation should be in a balance," a source said.
If ExxonMobil decides to go ahead with the cracker project, its second cracker is expected to come onstream one to two years after Shell's new 1m tonne/year cracker project in Singapore, they said. Shell is expected to decide on whether to go ahead with its cracker project by year-end. The commission date for the Shell project is scheduled for 2009.
Shell currently owns a 50% share in Petrochemical Corp of Singapore (PCS), which operates two crackers with a total capacity of 1.08m tonne/year. Sumitomo Chemical owns the remaining 50% share in PCS.
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