ExxonMobil commissions Singapore expansion of petrochemical plants

ExxonMobil has commenced startup operations at one of the world's largest ethylene steam crackers, the centerpiece of the company's multi-billion dollar expansion project at its Singapore petrochemical complex, the company said on Tuesday.

A new 220-megawatt cogeneration plant joins with the existing 140-megawatt cogeneration facility to power ExxonMobil's expanded Singapore petrochemical complex.

Cogeneration is significantly more efficient than producing steam and power separately and reduces greenhouse gas emissions, according to the company.

The expansion adds 2.6 million tpy of new finished product capacity.

It includes two new polyethylene plants, a polypropylene plant, a metallocene elastomers unit, an oxo-alcohol unit and an aromatics expansion, all of which are completed and beginning operation.

Ethylene production is expected to start in the next few months.

"We have doubled the size of our finished product capacity at Singapore, making this the largest chemical expansion project in ExxonMobil history, " said Steve Pryor, president of ExxonMobil Chemical.

"This is among the most technically advanced and competitive manufacturing sites in Singapore and the Asia Pacific region," he added. 

The new cogeneration plant allows for the efficient generation of electricity to run pumps, compressors and other equipment, while at the same time producing additional steam needed in the production processes.

The expansion makes the Singapore facility ExxonMobil's largest refining and petrochemical complex. It also marks the first production by ExxonMobil of its proprietary specialty elastomers and metallocene-based polyethylene in the Asia Pacific region.

The expansion will increase the chemical plant workforce by 50%, bringing total employment at ExxonMobil's Singapore integrated refining and chemical complex to 1,800.

During peak construction, the project employed on site 22,000 workers who achieved more than 80 million work hours with no lost-time injuries in construction activities.

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