Feature Photo (above): The ExxonMobil Baytown Olefins Plant, as seen from Google Earth.
Baytown (Harris County) — ExxonMobil officially announced last week that it will proceed with a $2 billion expansion of its chemical plant in Baytown, which will generate about 2,000 jobs during the construction phase.
Two new plastics processing plants will be added to the complex.
The Irving-based energy company released a statement May 2 that confirmed what Houston area media organizations reported last August. The public was first noticed in August 2018 when the Goose Creek Consolidated Independent School District received an application for a Chapter 313 tax exemption on what was then described as a $1.9 billion plant expansion, but ExxonMobil would not comment at the time.
ExxonMobil anticipates its expansion will begin in 2022, but stated in its tax break application that work could begin mid-2021. It will include a new Vistamaxx performance polymer unit, which produces products that offer higher levels of elasticity, softness and flexibility. These attributes contribute to a reduction in materials used and increased performance in everyday products.
The new unit will produce 400,000 tons of Vistamaxx polymers a year.
Google satellite view of a refining unit in the ExxonMobil Baytown complex.
The project will also enable ExxonMobil to enter the linear alpha olefins market. Linear alpha olefins are used in numerous applications, including high-performance engine and industrial oils, waxes and building blocks for surfactants, polyethylene plastic for packaging, and other specialty chemicals.
The new unit will produce 350,000 tons of linear alpha olefins a year.
The 3,400-acre Baytown facility, located along the Houston Ship Channel, is the largest integrated petrochemical complex in the United States. It is one of the most technologically advances refining and petrochemical complexes in the world.
Google satellite map of ExxonMobil’s 3,400-acre Baytown complex.
Founded in 1919, the complex includes a refinery, chemical plant, olefins plant, plastics plant and global technology center.
Darren W. Woods, ExxonMobil chairman and chief executive officer said of the Baytown expansion that it will “put us in a solid position to maximize the value of increased Permian Basin production and will deliver higher-demand, higher-value products produced at our Gulf Coast refining and chemical facilities.”
This article was edited from an ExxonMobil press release and media reports.