PHOTO: ExxonMobil has substantial polyolefins capacity coming on stream in 2018. It has commenced production on two new 650,000 tons per year high-performance polyethylene lines at its plastics plant in Mont Belvieu, Texas
EXXON MOBIL’S polymers management team is clearly committed to its customers and the industry in South Africa and the southern African region.
The giant USA petrochemicals business – one of the biggest corporations in the world – is a major supplier of polymers to the plastics converting sector in South Africa and the local region. Supply of ExxonMobil’s Exceed™ and Enable™ performance polymers was ramped up during the second half of 2017 to fill some of the PE shortfalls created by sluggish local LLDPE manufacture in SA – and the trend appears to be continuing as we enter the new year.
Thierry Debarneville, polyolefins sales manager for Europe/Middle East/Africa, was in South Africa in December to visit some key customers and network with ExxonMobil SA staff.
“South Africa is an important market and many of the challenges faced by convertors here are no different than those in other markets that we supply, both regionally and globally,” said Debarneville, who is based in Belgium.
“What matters is to deliver consistent, high-quality material to our customers on time and be a reliable and responsible supplier.”
The ExxonMobil sales team in South Africa was expanded at the time of Thierry’s visit, when ExxonMobil SA welcomed Duncan Brown and Andrea Goldsmith on board. Brown and Goldsmith were previously at enX Polymers, the ExxonMobil distributor in the region, but have now transferred to the multi-national.
Debarneville mentioned that the company was working to address the current import tariff matter and had dealt with similar issues in other countries.
Debarneville’s confidence has good foundation: ExxonMobil has substantial polyolefins capacity coming on stream in 2018. It has commenced production on two new 650,000 tons per year high-performance polyethylene lines at its plastics plant in Mont Belvieu, Texas.
The full project, part of the company’s multi-billion dollar expansion project in the Baytown area of Texas and ExxonMobil’s broader ‘Growing the Gulf’ expansion initiative, will increase the plant’s polyethylene capacity by approximately 1.3 million tons per year.
The Mont Belvieu plant capacity totals more than 2.5 million tons per year, making it one of the largest polyethylene plants in the world. The performance polyethylene products manufactured will deliver significant sustainability benefits, enabling lighter weight, higher performance packaging, lower energy consumption and reduced emissions. At its peak, the site will ship more than 200 containers a day from the Port of Houston.
“The expansion of our Mont Belvieu facility further enhances our ability to meet growing global demand for high-performance polyethylene products around the world,” said John Verity, president of ExxonMobil Chemical Company. “The investments we’re making through our Growing the Gulf initiative will not only expand our existing manufacturing and export capacity but will further stimulate local economic growth and create thousands of full-time jobs.”
ExxonMobil is planning to invest more than $20-billion over 10 years to build and expand manufacturing facilities in the US Gulf region.
These projects are expected to create more than 45,000 jobs, including more than 12,000 full-time jobs. The expansion covers 11 major chemical, refining, lubricant and liquefied natural gas projects along the Texas and Louisiana coasts.
About ExxonMobil Chemical Company
ExxonMobil Chemical Company is one of the largest petrochemical companies worldwide. The company holds leadership positions in some of the largest-volume and highest-growth commodity petrochemical products in the world. ExxonMobil Chemical Company has manufacturing capacity in every major region of the world, serving large and growing markets. More than 90 percent of the company’s chemical capacity is integrated with large refineries or natural gas processing plants.