ExxonMobil today announced the startup of two new chemical production units at its Baytown, TX, manufacturing facility. The $2 billion expansion is part of ExxonMobil’s long-term growth plans to deliver higher-value products from its US Gulf Coast refining and chemical facilities.
“With startup of these two new lines, ExxonMobil is delivering high-value materials for a variety of products that society depends on every day,” said Karen McKee, president of ExxonMobil Product Solutions. “We achieved excellent safety performance by leveraging our expertise to plan and execute large projects, while providing meaningful investment in the U.S. Gulf Coast.”
The new performance polymers line will produce 400,000 metric tons per year of Vistamaxx- and Exact-branded polymer modifiers, which can enhance the performance of a broad range of chemical products used to make automotive parts, construction materials, hygiene and personal care products, and various packaging applications.
Vistamaxx can increase the durability of consumer products like reusable containers to extend their useful life while also allowing for higher recycled content. Exact can help meet the growing demand in the auto industry for thinner, lighter weight parts that improve fuel efficiency, the company says.
The new linear alpha olefins unit will produce 350,000 tons per year of Elevexx-branded products, marking ExxonMobil’s entry into the market. Linear alpha olefins are used in plastic packaging, high-performing engine and industrial oils, and other applications. They’re also building blocks for surfactants, which reduce surface tension for cleaning and industrial uses, and drag reducing agents, which allow crude to flow through pipelines more efficiently.
ExxonMobil maintained its investment in this project through the pandemic and related economic downturn. The company’s extensive project management experience and technology capabilities enabled the units to start up safely according to planned schedule. During construction, the project supported more than 3,500 jobs, and when fully operational, will directly employ 200 more people.
The Baytown facility is one of the largest integrated and most technologically advanced refining and petrochemical complexes in the world. Founded in 1919, ExxonMobil’s Baytown area operations are 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 center.