ExxonMobil Corp. is moving forward with a previously announced plan to build a grassroots chemical complex in the Dayawan Petrochemical Industrial Park in Huizhou, Guangdong Province, China.
Intended to help meet China’s ongoing demand growth for performance chemical products, the planned multibillion-dollar petrochemical complex will produce performance polymers used in packaging, automotive, agricultural, and consumer products for hygiene and personal care, ExxonMobil said in a release announcing its Nov. 8 final investment decision (FID) to move forward with the project.
Aimed at supporting China’s national petrochemical development priorities—which include self-sufficiency, diversified feedstock sources, and advancement of new competitive technology—the greenfield complex also will feature technologies to improve the site’s overall efficiency, according to the operator.
Processing units planned for the new complex include:
- A 1.6-million tonnes/year (tpy) flexible-feed steam cracker.
- Three performance polyethylene lines.
- Two differentiated performance polypropylene lines.
“Demand for performance polymers will continue to increase in China, and we’re well positioned to meet the needs of that growing market,” said Karen McKee, president of ExxonMobil Chemical Co.
While ExxonMobil confirmed construction on the greenfield project is already under way, the operator did not reveal a definitive timeline for targeted commissioning of the complex.
Official confirmation of FID on the proposed Guangdong petrochemical project follows ExxonMobil’s initial 2018 announcement that it was in discussions with the provincial government to build the complex which, at the time, was to house a 1.2-million tpy ethylene flexible-feed steam cracker, in addition to the two performance polyethylene lines and two differentiated performance polypropylene lines (OGJ Online, Sept. 6, 2018).
ExxonMobil said the Guangdong complex now comes as part of the operator’s prioritization of near-term capital investments on advantaged assets with the highest potential value and ability to generate attractive shareholder returns, which includes investments on chemical projects to expand production of high-value performance products by 60% by 2027.
ExxonMobil’s total investment in the Guangdong petrochemical complex—the first large-scale petrochemical project to be built in China by a wholly-owned US company—amounts to about $10 billion, the government of China said in a release on Apr. 22, 2020.
US Gulf Coast project update
Alongside announcing FID for the Guangdong complex, ExxonMobil also confirmed its joint venture with Saudi Arabian Basic Industries Corp. (SABIC), Gulf Coast Growth Ventures LLC (GCGV), continues to progress with startup of its 1.8-million tpy ethane cracking complex in Portland, San Patricio County, Tex., near Corpus Christi (OGJ Online, July 26, 2021).
GCGV’s Corpus Christi complex remains on schedule for full commissioning by the end of fourth-quarter 2021, ExxonMobil told investors in its Oct. 29 earnings report for third-quarter 2021.