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ExxonMobil Announces Major Expansion Project at Beaumont Plant

ExxonMobil announced plans this week to crank up polyethylene (PE) production at a unit in Beaumont, Texas.

ExxonMobil announced plans this week to crank up polyethylene (PE) production at a unit in Beaumont, Texas by 65 percent. The increase will boost the company’s capacity by 650,000 metric tons a year.

ExxonMobil cited growing demand for high performance plastics as the driver behind the expansion. Currently, the company has six PE lines in Beaumont and a capacity of about 1 million metric tons per year.

Construction on the expansion has already begun and startup is expected in 2019.

The expansion is one of many PE-related projects in North America. According to IHS Chemical Week, companies are taking advantage of low-cost ethylene to expand PE production.

Some of the PE-related plants slated to begin production next year include:

  • CPChem’s 500,000 metric tons per year HDPE and LLDPE plants in Sweeny, Texas
  • Dow’s 350,000 metric tons per year LPDE plant in Plaquemine, Louisiana
  • Ineos/Sasol’s 470,000 metric tons per year HPDE plant in La Porte, Texas

2018 will also see PE-related plants come online owned by Formosa Plastics Corp., LyondellBasell, and Sasol.

ExxonMobil says it is investing billions in projects in the U.S. Gulf Coast in the coming few years that will create 28,000 temporary construction jobs and 1,200 permanent jobs.

“The availability of vast new supplies of U.S. shale gas and associated liquids for feedstock and energy is a significant advantage that enables expansion to meet strong global demand growth in polyethylene,” said Cindy Shulman, vice president of ExxonMobil’s plastics and resins business.

 

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