Exxon Mobil plans a multibillion-dollar upgrade of its its giant petrochemical complex plant in Baytown, Texas.
The company has filed applications for permits with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to build an ethane cracker at the Baytown complex and two high performance polyethylene lines at its nearby plastics plant in Mont Belvieu. Once permits are approved, work on the plant could take about three years and the facility is expected to be operational by the end of 2016.
The Baytown steam cracker would handle up to 1.5 million tons annually and provide 650,000 tons of feedstock for the new lines at the Mont Belvieu plastics operation.
“The project is going to be an expansion of our Baytown project, which is already the largest integrated refining complex in the country,” said Steve Pryor, president of ExxonMobil Chemical Co. “It builds on our strengths as an integrated petrochemical company and will take advantage of all the shale gas that is coming on.”
Exxon Mobil’s Baytown complex, covering five square miles, already is the largest in the nation and has been in operation since 1920. Its refinery can process up to 584,000 barrels of crude oil per day. Two chemical plants at the site, beginning in 1940, now count among their products chemicals used in manufacturing of tires and plastics for auto parts like bumpers.