Chemical plans to build a world-scale ethylene plant at its Baytown, Texas,
olefins complex and two polyethylene units nearby as it takes advantage of
low-cost feedstocks resulting from the shale gas boom, a spokeswoman confirmed
Friday, according to reports from Platts and other media sources.
multi-billion dollar project would include a new ethane cracker and premium
product facilities at ExxonMobil''s integrated Baytown complex in Texas to
capitalize on abundant supplies of American natural gas," a spokeswoman,
Margaret Ross, says in an email, Platts reports. ExxonMobil has already filed
permit applications for the expansion, she said.
call for construction to begin by next March on a 1.5 million mt/year
ethylene-capacity steam cracker at the Baytown complex, some 30 miles east of
Houston, an area that is the heart of the US petrochemical industry. Start-up
could come as early as 2016, ExxonMobil Chemical said in filings with the US
Environmental Protection Agency and the Texas Commission on Environmental
addition, Houston-based ExxonMobil Chemical plans to build two polyethylene
plants, each with a capacity of 650,000 mt/year, at its plastics plant in Mont
Belvieu, 10 miles east of Baytown.
new polyethylene plants would use the ethylene feedstock provided by the new
steam cracker. "This proposed expansion would enable ExxonMobil Chemical
to economically supply the rapidly growing demand for high-value polyethylene
products which are used in a wide range of consumer and industrial
applications," Ross says. "ExxonMobil Chemical estimates exports
could increase significantly as a result of the expansion."
Chemical did not disclose a price tag on the proposed investment, describing it
only as a multi-billion dollar project.
company expects required governmental reviews and approvals to take about a
year. ExxonMobil Chemical will then make a final decision on the project, Ross
the largest natural gas producer in North America, is counting on low-cost
natural gas liquids -- ethane in particular -- as it seeks to cash in on the
feedstock advantage the US chemical industry is expected to enjoy as a result
of plentiful supply from shale gas drilling, Platts says.
believe the North American natural gas resource is abundant and can support
both domestic energy needs as well as exports to the global market," Ross
company joins other chemical majors, including Dow Chemical, Shell Chemicals,
Chevron Phillips Chemical and Formosa Plastics USA, in pursuing greenfield
projects to expand ethylene and polymers production in the US, says Platts.
companies, including Ineos, LyondellBasell, Williams, Westlake Chemicals and
Nova Chemicals of Canada, plan brownfield expansions, debottlenecks or
retrofits to add ethane consumption capacity and increase ethylene production,