ExxonMobil to purchase Jurong Aromatics’ Singapore petrochem complex

American multinational oil and gas corporation ExxonMobil Chemical Company, through its Singapore affiliate, has agreed to acquire Jurong Aromatics Corporation PteLtd’s (JAC) refining-petrochemical plant in Singapore.

The plant, one of the largest in the world with an annual production capacity of 1.4 million tons, presents operational and logistical synergies for ExxonMobil’s integrated refining and petrochemical complex nearby.

“Integration of this aromatics plant with ExxonMobil’s existing manufacturing facility will provide product and logistical synergies that will enable our continued growth and competitiveness,” GanSeowKee, chairman and managing director of ExxonMobil Asia Pacific PteLtd, said in a media release.

“Our decision to acquire the facility is also indicative of the advantages Jurong Island provides for the petrochemical and refining industry, as well as Singapore’s importance in global trade and economic progress,” said Gan.

Singapore is home to ExxonMobil’s largest integrated refining and petrochemical complex, which has a crude oil processing capacity of 592,000 barrels per day and includes two world-scale steam crackers.

Acquisition of the Jurong aromatics plant will increase ExxonMobil’s Singapore aromatics production to over 3.5 million tons per year, of which 1.8 million tons is paraxylene.

“As a leading global manufacturer of aromatics, the addition of this plant to our existing operations in Singapore will help us better serve our customers in key Asian growth markets,” said Matthew Aguiar, senior vice-president of basic chemicals, intermediates and synthetics for ExxonMobil Chemical Company. “We continue to make strategic investments that will ensure ExxonMobil is well positioned to meet increasing global demand for chemical products.”

“Our growth in Singapore is driven by the expected increase in global demand for chemical products over the next decade of nearly 45%, or about 4% per year, which is a faster pace than energy demand and economic growth,” said Neil Chapman, president of ExxonMobil Chemical Company. “Nearly three-quarters of the increased demand is expected to be in Asia Pacific as a result of its rising prosperity and a growing middle class.”

The company expects to complete the transaction in the second half of 2017and is working to offer employment to many qualified employees from JAC.

JAC went into receivership in September 2015, struggling with debt problems in the face of a global commodity rout at that time. It was also forced to halt production for around 18 months to fix a technical issue at its Jurong plant that had cost around US$2.4 billion to build.

ExxonMobil has operated in Singapore for more than 120 years and is one of the country’s largest international manufacturing investors. Singapore’s integrated petrochemical complex can process a wide range of feedstocks, from light gases to crude oil.

Later this year, the complex will begin the phased start-up of new 230,000 ton-per-year specialty polymers facilities that will produce halobutyl rubber and performance resins for adhesive applications.