ExxonMobil expects mid-year start-up for new US cracker

27 April 2018 15:59 Source:ICIS News

HOUSTON (ICIS)--ExxonMobil plans a mid-year start-up for its new 1.5m tonne/year ethane cracker at its complex in Baytown, Texas, a company executive said on Friday.

"This will enhance integration through lower feedstock costs for the associated polyethylene (PE) lines that started up in the fourth quarter of 2017," said Jeff Woodbury, vice president investor relations.

He made his comments during the company's Q1 earnings call.

ExxonMobil has recently started up two PE lines at its plastics plant in Mont Belvieu, Texas. Each line has a PE capacity of 650,000 tonnes/year.

The PE lines were mechanically complete in May, and production started on the first line in October. Both lines are now operating.

The new cracker had previously been scheduled to start up in late 2017 to feed the new PE units. However, the project was delayed due to effects of the late-August Hurricane Harvey.

ExxonMobil announced the mechanical completion of the cracker and the start of commissioning activities in early February.

The ExxonMobil cracker is one of several ethylene projects expected to come online in 2018.

Most recently, a Chevron Phillips Chemical (CP Chem) cracker started up in early March. The unit at CP Chem's Cedar Bayou complex in Baytown, Texas, also has an ethylene capacity of 1.5m tonnes/year.

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By Jessie Waldheim