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ExxonMobil plans expansion at Baytown petrochemical complex

ExxonMobil Corp. reported plans for a major expansion at its Baytown, Tex., refining and petrochemical complex just east of Houston. Plans call for construction of a 1.5 million tonne/year ethane cracker at the complex as well as two 650,000 tpy polyethylene production lines nearby its plastics plant in Mont Belvieu, Tex.

ExxonMobil has already filed approval requests with the US Environmental Protection Agency and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. The project’s final decision will be taken following the completion of the review and approval procedure, which is expected to take about a year. ExxonMobil anticipates the facilities to be online in 2016.

ExxonMobil's Baytown complex is the largest in the US. Apart from generating 10,000 temporary construction jobs as well as 350 permanent jobs, this expansion will likely create 3,700 jobs in the Baytown area, the company said.

“The proposed investment reflects ExxonMobil’s continued confidence in the natural gas-driven revitalization of the US chemical industry,” a company spokeswoman said.

ExxonMobil became the largest US gas producer when it acquired XTO Energy Inc. in 2010.

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