ExxonMobil has commenced operations at its new ethane cracker at its Baytown chemical and refining complex in Texas. The unit will supply the nearby Mont Belvieu plant with premium ethylene, a critical feedstock used to manufacture plastics.
Together with Mont Belvieu, Baytown’s cracker unit, which can process up to 1.5 million tons of ethane, will help meet growing global demand for plastic products. From medical devices to auto parts and consumer electronics, as living standards improve, especially across Asia, so too does demand for plastic solutions.
“Our new ethane cracker will help…deliver key sustainability benefits such as lighter packaging weight, lower energy consumption and reduced emissions, further enhancing our competitiveness worldwide,” explains John Verity, president of ExxonMobil Chemical Company.
The Baytown and Mont Belvieu expansions mark another chapter in the company’s $20 billion Growing the Gulf initiative. Together, these two projects represent ExxonMobil’s largest chemical investment in the U.S. to date and have created more than 10,000 construction jobs, 4,000 jobs in nearby communities and 350 permanent positions. Operations associated with the projects are expected to increase regional economic activity by roughly $870 million per year and generate more than $90 million per year in local tax revenues.
The new cracker is just one example of widespread investment occurring across the U.S. Gulf Coast thanks to a newfound abundance of domestic oil and gas supplies that has greatly reduced energy costs and created new sources of feedstock for manufacturing.