ExxonMobil grows Asia capacity by 50% after expansion

08 January 2014 08:07 Source:ICIS News

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SINGAPORE (ICIS)--ExxonMobil's production capacity in the Asia-Pacific region grew by more than 50%, with its expanded manufacturing site in Singapore, company chairman and CEO Rex Tillerson said on Wednesday.

The expansion includes a new 1m tonne/year steam cracker that has the ability to use crude as feedstock.

"With this project complete, our regional capacity has been expanded by more than 50%, and we have added production capacity across six product lines," said Tillerson, who is in the country for the opening ceremony of ExxonMobil's Singapore Chemical Plant (SCP) expansion.

The expanded SCP, which can produce more than 2.5m tonnes of new derivative products, is ExxonMobil's biggest integrated refining and petrochemical investment in the world.

SCP's expansion includes the new 1m tonne/year steam cracker that can use crude as feedstock; two 650,000 tonne/year polyethylene units: a 500,000 tonne/year polypropylene unit; a 300,000 tonne/year specialty elastomers unit; a benzene extraction unit that can yield 340,000 tonnes/year of benzene.

It further includes a 125,000 tonne/year oxo-alcohol unit expansion, an 80,000 tonne/year paraxylene expansion, as well as a 220-megawatt power cogeneration unit.

"Our goal is to build processes and systems that enable our corporation to maximize the value of every molecule we produce," Tillerson said.

ExxonMobil has strong hopes for Asia, the economy of which is expected to triple in size and with a population growing to 4.6 billion by 2040, the ExxonMobil executive  said.

"We expect global chemical demand to grow at a faster pace than GDP as people seek higher standards of living and purchase more household and packaged goods manufactured with chemical products," he said.

"Two thirds of that growth in chemical demand will be here in Asia-Pacific," Tillerson said.

Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who graced the occasion of the opening of the SCP expansion and the celebration of ExxonMobil’s 120 years in the country, said: “ExxonMobil’s major and continuing investments reflect its confidence in Singapore.”

The expansion increased the company’s total employment at the integrated refining and chemical complex by 50% to 2,000, he said.

“We will continue to support the energy and chemicals industry,” Lee said, citing that the industry contribute a third to Singapore’s manufacturing output.

In line with this, Singapore has upgraded Jurong Island, the country’s petrochemical manufacturing hub, over time, and are taking further steps to make the site more competitive and sustainable, he said.

By Pearl Bantillo