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5/8/2019 | 1 MINUTE READ

ExxonMobil to Expand Vistamaxx Production and Enter Linear Alpha Olefins Market

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The move will enhance the company’s portfolio of ethylene-propylene specialty elastomers which have found broad use since their 2003 launch.

A $2 billion investment that will expand production at its Baytown, Texas chemical plant has been announced by Houston-based ExxonMobil Chemical, with completion slated for 2022.

Most notably, this major expansion, includes a new 800 million lb/yr Vistamaxx performance polymer unit, which will produce the company’s recognized ethylene-propylene specialty elastomers that can result in a broad range of higher-value products from very soft fabrics and films used as components in performance BOPP and stretch-hood film structures as well as modifiers for other polyolefins.

The project will also enable ExxonMobil to enter the linear alpha olefins market with a new 700 million lb/yr unit. The applications of linear alpha olefins depend on their carbon chain length. 1-C4 to 1-C8 linear alpha olefins are used as co-monomers in the production of polyethylene. 1-C6 to 1-C10 linear alpha olefins are used as precursors for plasticizer alcohols. 1-C12 to 1-C14 linear alpha olefins are used in the production of detergents and synthetic lubricants.

Company chairman and CEO Darren Woods said the company’s recent investments, such as a major expansion of oil and gas production in the Permian Basin and the planned expansion at Baytown, will continue to boost the U.S. economy. “Our Baytown chemical expansion will put us in a solid position to maximize the value of increased Permian Basin production and will deliver higher-demand, higher-value products produced at our Gulf Coast refining and chemical facilities. Global demand for chemicals is expected to be greater than energy demand growth and GDP growth over the next 20 years.”

ExxonMobil’s Baytown facility is the largest integrated petrochemical complex in the U.S. and is one of the most technologically advanced refining and petrochemical complexes in the world. Founded in 1919, the complex is located on approximately 3,400 acres along the Houston Ship Channel, about 25 miles east of Houston. The facility includes a refinery, chemical plant, olefins plant, plastics plant and global technology center.