ExxonMobil recently announced it has commenced startup operations at one of the world’s largest ethylene steam crackers, the centerpiece of the company’s multi-billion-dollar expansion project at its Singapore petrochemical complex. The expansion, powered by a new 220-megawatt cogeneration plant, reportedly adds 2.6 million tons per year of new finished product capacity. It includes two new polyethylene plants, a polypropylene plant, a metallocene elastomers unit, an oxo-alcohol unit and an aromatics expansion, all of which are completed and beginning operation. Ethylene production is expected to start in the next few months.
“We have doubled the size of our finished product capacity at Singapore, making this the largest chemical expansion project in ExxonMobil history,” said Steve Pryor, president of ExxonMobil Chemical Co. “This is among the most technically advanced and competitive manufacturing sites in Singapore and the Asia-Pacific region.”
The new cogeneration plant reportedly allows for the efficient generation of electricity to run pumps, compressors and other equipment, while at the same time producing additional steam needed in the production processes. Cogeneration is significantly more efficient than traditional methods of producing steam and power separately, resulting in lower operating costs and reduced greenhouse gas emissions.
The expansion is expected to increase the chemical plant workforce by 50%, bringing total employment at ExxonMobil’s Singapore integrated refining and chemical complex to 1,800. During peak construction, the project employed 22,000 on-site workers, who achieved more than 80 million work hours with no lost-time injuries in construction activities.
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