UpdateUS ExxonMobil plans world-class Texas petchem project

01 June 2012 13:35  [Source: ICIS news]

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LONDON (ICIS)--ExxonMobil is planning a multi-billion dollar petrochemical expansion at its facility in Baytown, Texas, which would include a new 1.5m tonne/year steam cracker, the company confirmed on Friday.

The ethane cracker will provide ethylene feedstock for two new 650,000 tonne/year high-performance polyethylene (PE) lines at the company’s nearby Mont Belvieu Plastics Plant, the US oil giant said.

The "world-class" project, due to start-up in 2016, will also include premium product facilities at the integrated Baytown complex and will capitalise on the North American shale gas boom.

ExxonMobil has filed permit applications with the US Environmental Protection Agency and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, with government reviews and approvals expected to take around a year.

“The new facilities would enhance ExxonMobil’s international petrochemical manufacturing network, and help meet growing global demand for high-quality petrochemical products which are used in a wide range of consumer and industrial applications,” said company spokesperson Margaret Ross.

“This proposed expansion would enable ExxonMobil Chemical to economically supply the rapidly growing demand for high-value polyethylene products.

“ExxonMobil Chemical estimates exports could increase significantly as a result of the expansion.

“The proposed investment reflects ExxonMobil’s continued confidence in the natural gas-driven revitalisation of the US chemical industry.”

ExxonMobil will make a final investment decision following completion of the government’s reviews and approvals, Ross said.

The project will create an estimated 10,000 construction jobs with around 350 permanent jobs added to the company’s 6,500-strong workforce in the Baytown area.

ExxonMobil estimates that it would increase regional economic activity by approximately $870m (€705m) per year and generate over $90m per year of additional tax revenues for local communities.

“The natural gas revolution in the United States, driven by industry innovation, is enabling US chemical manufacturers like ExxonMobil to invest in America, create thousands of US jobs, and increase sales to domestic and global markets,” Ross added.

($1 = €0.81)

Leigh Stringer contributed to this article

By: Graeme Paterson
+44 20 8652 3214

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