ExxonMobil’s new 1.5t/y ethane cracker has commenced operations at its integrated Baytown chemical and refining complex.
Part of the company’s Growing the Gulf initiative, the cracker will offer ethylene feedstock to new performance polyethylene lines at its Mont Belvieu plastic plant.
The plant began its production last year and has a manufacturing capacity of around 1.3Mtpa.
ExxonMobil Chemical Company president John Verity said: “Our new ethane cracker will help us meet the growing global demand for high-performance plastic products that deliver key sustainability benefits such as lighter packaging weight, lower energy consumption and reduced emissions, further enhancing our competitiveness worldwide.
“Our new ethane cracker will help us meet the growing global demand for high-performance plastic products.”
“The abundance of domestically produced oil and natural gas has reduced energy costs and created new sources of feedstock for US Gulf refining and chemical manufacturing while creating jobs and expanding economic activity in the area.”
Until now, the Baytown ethane cracker and Mont Belvieu plant are the company’s largest chemical investments in the US.
With these two projects, ExxonMobil expects to bolster regional economic activity by around $870m and create $90m in local tax revenues annually.
The Baytown ethane cracker and the Mont Belvieu plant have generated more than 10,000 construction jobs, 4,000 jobs in nearby communities and 350 permanent positions.
Worth more than $20bn, ExxonMobil’s Growing the Gulf expansion programme comprises chemical, refining, lubricant and liquefied natural gas projects at proposed new and existing facilities along the Texas and Louisiana coasts.