ExxonMobil Chemical Expanding in Asia10 Apr 2009 • by Natalie Aster
ExxonMobil Chemical Company is planning major capacity additions in Singapore and in Fujian Province, China.
ExxonMobil is working with Sinopec and Saudi Aramco in Fujian Province on what will be a fully integrated petroleum refining, petrochemicals and fuels marketing project, spokesperson Jeff Neu said in an email.
This joint venture, which will cost several billion U.S. dollars, is intended to meet Chinese demand for transportation fuels and chemicals for key markets such as automobiles, packaging and construction. ExxonMobil estimates that some 60 percent of the world's petrochemical consumption growth will occur in China over the next decade.
In Singapore, another multi-billion-dollar ExxonMobil project will more than double the size of an existing chemical complex, including constructing an 800,000 tons-per-year ethylene steam cracker and multiple derivative units. A broad range of feedstocks will be processed and converted into higher-value products, Neu said. Start-up is scheduled for 2011. When that occurs, Singapore will be ExxonMobile's largest owned and operated petrochemical complex and largest integrated chemical and refining site.
The company said it will also be building a technology center in Shanghai, China to support business in Chinese and other Asian markets. The center will be built and operated by ExxonMobil Asia Pacific Research&Development Company Limited and is expected to be open in 2010.
Forty of the world's top 50 oil and petroleum companies have joint ventures in Asia. While projects under construction should continue to support the shipping side through mid-2009, according to John Amos, president of Amos Logistics, LLC, project cargo carriers could be impacted by cancellations or slowdowns later in the year. Project growth in the region is expected to slow from the double-digit rates of the last few years due to the global economic crisis.