ExxonMobil said Wednesday that it has signed a cooperation framework agreement with the Guangdong Provincial People’s Government to advance discussions concerning the proposed construction of a chemical complex in the Huizhou Dayawan Petrochemical Industrial Park. The new facility would help meet expected demand growth for chemical products in China.
The multibillion-dollar project, which remains subject to a final investment decision, would include a 1.2 million-tons-per-year ethylene flexible feed steam cracker, two performance polyethylene lines and two differentiated performance polypropylene lines. ExxonMobil’s decision to proceed with the project will be based on a number of factors, including receipt of permits and project competitiveness. Startup is planned for 2023.
“Our agreement with the Guangdong Provincial Government demonstrates ExxonMobil’s interest in advancing this project from concept to completion,” said John Verity, president of the ExxonMobil Chemical Company. “We value the government’s support and its experience in moving such a large-scale project forward.”
The new complex would rely on advanced proprietary technologies in direct crude steam cracking and performance polymers manufacturing. It would support progress toward China’s national petrochemical development priorities, which include self-sufficiency, diversified feedstock sources, rebalancing fuels versus chemicals and advancing new competitive technology. The framework agreement also confirms Guangdong Province’s support in progressing the Huizhou LNG receiving terminal, in which ExxonMobil intends to participate, including supply of LNG.
The company is also evaluating other chemicals manufacturing projects in Asia to help meet expected demand growth in the region. ExxonMobil expects to grow chemicals manufacturing capacity in Asia Pacific and North America by about 40 percent. That growth will be achieved in part by adding 13 new facilities, including two world-class steam crackers in the United States that are part of the company’s Growing the Gulf initiative. These investments would enable the company to meet increasing demand in Asia and other growing markets.
The company recently commenced operations at its new 1.5 million ton-per-year ethane cracker at the company’s integrated Baytown chemical and refining complex in Texas. ExxonMobil and SABIC have also created a new joint venture to advance development of the Gulf Coast Growth Ventures project, a 1.8 million tonne ethane cracker currently planned for construction in San Patricio County, Texas. The facility will also include a monoethylene glycol unit and two polyethylene units.
ExxonMobil’s downstream and chemical businesses both have a presence in China, and the company operates primarily through its Shanghai-based ExxonMobil (China) Investment Co. Ltd. affiliate. The company is also a joint venture partner with Sinopec, Fujian Province and Saudi Aramco in China’s first integrated refining and petrochemical facility to include international participation.