ExxonMobil targets high value-added products from new Texas cracker

06 March 2013 19:01  [Source: ICIS news]

NEW YORK (ICIS)--US-based ExxonMobil is targeting the production of high value-added products downstream from its planned new 1.5m tonne/year ethane cracker project in Baytown, Texas, its chief executive said on Wednesday.

“This platform will give us a lot of flexibility to manufacture higher value-added products. Part of the engineering work we’re taking now is evaluating these options,” said chairman and CEO Rex Tillerson.

Tillerson spoke at a press conference at ExxonMobil’s annual analyst day at the New York Stock Exchange.

ExxonMobil Chemical has already filed permit applications for its planned new cracker in Texas. In the meantime, it is moving ahead with engineering and project planning, said Tillerson.

Premium polyethylene (PE) will be one derivative, ExxonMobil Chemical president Stephen Pryor said at the IHS CERAWeek conference in Houston on 5 March.

However, Tillerson did not mention any other downstream products.

The cracker project is on track to be completed in 2016, but a more specific timing was not given.

“It is difficult to say when in 2016 – the first quarter or the fourth quarter - as it depends on the pace of the permitting process,” Tillerson said.

ExxonMobil’s chemical earnings contribution from ethane feedstock has increased 17-fold from 2007 to 2012, noted senior vice president Mike Dolan at the New York press conference.

“We have unmatched capacity to feed US ethane with our level of integration,” said Dolan.

“The worldscale cracker and associated polymers will capture the value of our own ethane molecules,” he added.

By: Joseph Chang
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