ExxonMobil announces $2 billion Baytown chemical expansion project
ExxonMobil will proceed with a $2 billion investment to expand its Baytown, Texas chemical plant, which will create approximately 2,000 jobs during construction and contribute to the approximate 15% return the company expects from its chemical investments.
The Baytown expansion is in addition to the company’s 2017 Growing the Gulf initiative, which outlined plans to build and expand manufacturing facilities along the U.S. Gulf Coast, creating more than 45,000 high-paying jobs across the region.
“Our substantial investments in the United States support ExxonMobil’s long-term growth plans and will result in thousands more high-paying jobs,” said Darren W. Woods, ExxonMobil chairman and Chief Executive Officer.
“Through the billions of dollars that we’re investing in the Permian Basin to increase oil production and the expansion at our operations along the Gulf Coast, our company is making significant, lasting contributions to the U.S. economy and the many communities where we operate.”
ExxonMobil commissioned Ernst & Young to examine the contributions the company made to the U.S. economy in 2017 – the year the Growing the Gulf initiative was launched. The research concluded that during 2017, ExxonMobil contributed more than $43 billion to the U.S. gross domestic product and direct, indirect and induced economic activity supported nearly 177,000 jobs across the country.
“This research, focused on a single year, is a powerful snapshot of how our business in the United States directly benefits the American economy,” said Mr Woods.
“It underscores the many ways that the company and our employees are contributing to prosperity across the country.”
The Ernst & Young research also found that in 2017, ExxonMobil’s U.S. operations supported nearly $6.72 billion of direct labour income – averaging $208,000 per worker in total annual compensation, including wages and benefits.
The impact of ExxonMobil’s operations and investments includes more than $7 billion of tax and royalty payments, and the company made capital investments in 20 states.
Mr Woods said the company’s recent investments, such as a major expansion of oil and gas production in the Permian Basin and the planned expansion at Baytown, will continue to boost the U.S. economy.
“Our Baytown chemical expansion will put us in a solid position to maximise the value of increased Permian Basin production and will deliver higher-demand, higher-value products produced at our Gulf Coast refining and chemical facilities,” said Mr Woods.
“Global demand for chemicals is expected to be greater than energy demand growth and GDP growth over the next 20 years.”
The expansion, expected to start up in 2022, includes a new Vistamaxx performance polymer unit, which produces products that offer higher levels of elasticity, softness and flexibility, attributes that contribute to a reduction in materials used and increased performance in everyday products. The new unit will produce about 400,000 tons of Vistamaxx polymers a year.
The project will also enable ExxonMobil to enter the linear alpha olefins market. Linear alpha olefins are used in numerous applications, including high-performing engine and industrial oils, waxes and building blocks for surfactants, polyethylene plastic for packaging, and other specialty chemicals. The new unit will produce about 350,000 tons of linear alpha olefins a year.
ExxonMobil’s Baytown facility is the largest integrated petrochemical complex in the U.S. and is one of the most technologically advanced refining and petrochemical complexes in the world. Founded in 1919, the complex is located on approximately 3,400 acres along the Houston Ship Channel, about 25 miles east of Houston. The facility includes a refinery, chemical plant, olefins plant, plastics plant and global technology centre.