ExxonMobil to increase PP capacity up to 450 kt/year in Baton Rouge

US oil/gas company ExxonMobil is constructing a new polypropylene (PP) production unit at its Baton Rouge complex in Louisiana that will expand production capacity along the Gulf Coast by up to 450,000 tonnes/year.

Construction will begin in 2019 and start-up is anticipated by 2021.

The engineering, procurement and construction contract for has been awarded to Baton Rouge-based Turner Industries and Jacobs Engineering. The companies will use local workers to design and construct the new facility.

This new project is in addition to ExxonMobil’s previously announced plans to invest US$20 billion to build and expand manufacturing facilities in the US Gulf region as part of its Growing the Gulf Initiative, which is expected to create more than 45,000 jobs across the region.

Growing the Gulf projects include a new aviation lubricants blending, packaging and distribution facility in the Baton Rouge area as well as refining and chemical expansions at ExxonMobil’s Beaumont and Baytown facilities.

ExxonMobil and Riyadh-headquartered chemical firm 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. As well, ExxonMobil and Qatar Petroleum are also proceeding with the development of the Golden Pass LNG export project in Sabine Pass, Texas.

ExxonMobil’s integrated operations in Baton Rouge include a 502,000 barrel-per-day refinery, as well as chemical, lubricants and polyethylene (PE) plants.

ExxonMobil has more than 2,500 employees in the Baton Rouge area and the latest PP project is expected to create up to 600 jobs during construction and 65 permanent jobs once completed.

“Growth in feedstock supply along with the increase in global demand for chemical products continues to drive our strategic investments and expansion along the Gulf Coast,” said John Verity, President of ExxonMobil Chemical Company. “We’re well positioned to meet the demand for these high-performance products and investing further in Baton Rouge enhances our facility’s competitiveness.

”PP is a versatile material that can help improve the safety and performance of everyday consumer products and help improve vehicle fuel efficiency when used to manufacture lighter-weight auto parts.