ExxonMobil Hits Baytown Ethane Cracker Milestone
Exxon Mobil Corp.’s new 1.5 million ton-per-year ethane cracker at its Baytown, Texas, complex is mechanically complete and commissioning is “progressing well,” the company said Tuesday.
“With the completion of the project in Baytown, we are on the verge of fully realizing one of ExxonMobil’s most significant U.S. Gulf Coast investments,” John Verity, president of ExxonMobil Chemical Co., said in a written statement. “Our new ethane cracker will allow us to economically meet rapidly growing demand for high-performance polyethylene products around the world while continuing to sustain economic development and create jobs for decades to come.”
Construction on the ethane cracker – part of ExxonMobil’s Baytown chemical expansion project – began in 2014 and has created more than 10,000 construction jobs and another 4,000 related jobs in the Houston area, stated ExxonMobil. The company added that its new polyethylene lines in Mont Belvieu, which began production last fall, will receive ethylene feedstock from the ethane cracker.
“The U.S. chemical industry is rapidly expanding along the Gulf Coast due to abundant supplies of domestically produced natural gas, as demonstrated by the investments ExxonMobil alone is making,” said Verity, referring to ExxonMobil’s broader Growing the Gulf expansion program. “This expansion will not only increase the nation’s existing manufacturing and export capacity, but also further stimulate economic growth and create thousands of full-time jobs.”
ExxonMobil said that it expects the new Baytown cracker to start production during the second quarter of this year. According to the company, the facility should support approximately 350 new permanent positions during operations.
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