EPCA ’09: ExxonMobil to expand Asia chems production footprint

05 October 2009 16:18  [Source: ICIS news]

By Nigel Davis

ExxonMobilBERLIN (ICIS news)--ExxonMobil Chemical’s production footprint in Asia will increase significantly over the next two years as the company’s key projects in China and Singapore come on-stream, president Stephen Pryor said on Monday.

Production from ExxonMobil’s Fujian, China, chemicals complex will be fully ramped up by the end of this year, he said in an interview with ICIS news on the sidelines of the 43rd annual European Petrochemical Association (EPCA) meeting in Berlin.

The company’s cracker, polyolefins and specialties expansions in Singapore are due on stream in 2011, he said.

Products from the Fujian project, a fully integrated refining and petrochemicals joint venture with Sinopec and Saudi Aramco, were currently being marketed and sold, he said, and the refinery was fully operational.

Fujian represents the first fully integrated refinery and petrochemicals project in China,” Pryor said, adding that he expected to see the model repeated throughout China.

The Fujian complex includes an 800,000 tonne/year cracker and 700,000 tonnes/year of aromatics capacities. Plants include capacities to make 800,000 tonnes/year polyethylene (PE) and 400,000 tonnes/year of polypropylene (PP).

ExxonMobil’s other large Asia project, the expansion of production capacities at its site in Singapore, is fully in the construction phase with more than 10,000 workers on site, he said.

The start up date for the 1m tonne/year cracker and aromatics, PE and PP units is 2011. Plants to produce oxo alcohols and specialty elastomers will also be located at the site.

When the current construction phase was completed the Singapore complex would be ExxonMobil Chemical's largest production site, Pryor said.

 “We have [in Singapore] a wide range of products and exceptional feedstock flexibility,” he added. The Singapore cracker will be able to crack very heavy feeds and the site will include metallocene based PE production.

ExxonMobil Chemical had shifted its investment dollars to Asia to capture market growth, Pryor said, referring to estimates that the Asia Pacific region will account for 50% of the market for petrochemicals by 2015.

The company was also strengthening its organisational capabilities in the region, he added. Its new technology centre in Shanghai will be completed next year and have between 150 and 200 employees.

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