HOUSTON (ICIS)--ExxonMobil has commenced production at one of two new 650,000 tonne/year high-performance polyethylene (PE) lines at its plastics plant in Mont Belvieu, Texas, the US-based energy and chemicals major announced on Tuesday.
The expansion is expected to raise the capacity of the Mont Belvieu PE plant by approximately 1.3m tonnes/year. The project also includes a new 1.5m tonne/year ethane cracker in nearby Baytown, Texas, which would supply ethylene feedstock to the Mont Belvieu plant.
Once the expansion is completed, the Mont Belvieu plastics plant will have a total capacity of 2.5m tonnes/year, making it one of the world’s largest PE plants.
The company intends to export much of the production from the new plant through the Port of Houston, with the first export cargoes slated later this month. Once the expansion is fully completed, the plant aims to export more than 200 containers/day of plastics.
ExxonMobil is planning to invest more than $20bn over 10 years to build and expand manufacturing facilities across the US Gulf as part of its Growing the Gulf initiative. The expansion covers 11 major chemical, refining, lubricants and liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects and will create more than 12,000 full-time jobs.
Pictured above is ExxonMobil's new polyethylene (PE) lines at Mont Belvieu. Source: ExxonMobil
(recasts with new photo from ExxonMobil)