“For the first time in more than a decade, major capacity additions have been announced that convert ethane, a natural gas liquid, to ethylene, the largest petrochemical building block,” Pryor said. He estimated the announced additions are equivalent to six to eight new world-scale steam crackers.
“While all announced projects may not materialize, the U.S. industry is clearly poised to expand its position as a leading petrochemical producer. With 85 percent of global demand growth projected to occur in emerging markets, this is great news for U.S. exports,” Pryor said.
“ExxonMobil, as the largest U.S. chemical manufacturer and natural gas producer, is developing a unique project that builds on our proven integration model,” Pryor said. “It will be sustained over the ups and downs of the business cycle by advantages in integration, scale and premium products.”
ExxonMobil Chemical has filed permit applications for a multibillion-dollar expansion at its Baytown, Texas, site, already the country’s largest integrated refining-chemical producing site. The project will convert ethylene from a new world-scale steam cracker to premium polyethylene products to serve growing markets around the world. Feedstock and energy supplies will be coordinated with ExxonMobil’s upstream business.
The benefits for the Greater Houston area are significant and will grow if the project receives the necessary permits and proceeds to the construction phase. Pryor estimated that the project would provide 10,000 jobs at the peak of construction. The proposed project would also have a multiplier effect and create an additional 3,800 other jobs in the area and increase regional economic activity by $870 million per year, he added.
Pryor said, “Just five years ago, American chemical production was in steady decline due largely to the rising price of natural gas. The U.S. was on the verge of becoming a net chemical importer. Growing supplies of shale gas and gas liquids have changed all that.
"North American chemical manufacturers now have a major cost advantage over competitors around the world that rely on more expensive, oil-based feedstocks. This has boosted profitability and enabled the industry to regain its position as America’s largest exporter.”
About ExxonMobil Chemical
ExxonMobil Chemical is one of the world’s premier petrochemical companies with manufacturing, technology, and marketing operations around the world. The company delivers a broad portfolio of products and solutions efficiently and responsibly, with a commitment to create outstanding customer and shareholder value.
ExxonMobil Chemical endorses the principles of sustainable development, including the need to balance economic growth, social development and environmental considerations.
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