ExxonMobil starts up ethylene steam cracker in Singapore

ExxonMobil Corp. reported the startup operations of one of the world’s largest ethylene steam crackers, which is the centerpiece of the company’s multibillion dollar expansion project at its Singapore petrochemical complex.

The expansion, which is being powered by a 220-Mw cogeneration plant, adds 2.6 million tonnes/year of finished product capacity, doubling the company’s product capacity at Singapore. The expansion includes two polyethylene plants, a polypropylene plant, a metallocene elastomers unit, an oxo-alcohol unit, and an aromatics expansion, all of which are completed and starting operations. Ethylene production is expected to start in the next few months, the company said.

Steve Pryor, president, ExxonMobil Chemical Co., said, “This is among the most technically advanced and competitive manufacturing sites in Singapore and the Asia Pacific region.”

“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 company said, adding, “Cogeneration is significantly more efficient than traditional methods of producing steam and power separately, resulting in lower operating costs and reduced greenhouse gas emissions.”

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

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