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ExxonMobil to invest $20bn to expand manufacturing in Gulf coast

YarnsandFibers News Bureau 2017-03-11 12:00:00 – New York

Exxon Mobil Corp., plans to spend a total of $20 billion to expand its manufacturing and export capacity over 10 years on refineries, chemical and liquefied natural gas plants along the Gulf Coast. Investments began in 2013 and are expected to continue through at least 2022.

The company’s initiative, ‘Growing the Gulf’, expansion program consists of 11 major chemical, refining, lubricant and liquefied natural gas projects at proposed new and existing facilities along the Texas and Louisiana coasts.

Chairman and CEO Darren Woods said that the company would expand current plants — including the Baytown and Mont Belvieu complexes — and build new ones, mostly designed to create petroleum products for export.

In the Baytown area for example, the oil giant is investing in the ethane steam cracker that will have capacity of up to 1.5 million tons per year and provide ethylene feedstock for two new 650,000 tons per year high performance polyethylene units at Mont Belvieu.

The new projects announced are expected to generate thousands of new high-paying jobs and $20 billion in increased economic activity in Texas and Louisiana.

The United States is a leading producer of oil and natural gas, which is incentivizing U.S. manufacturing to invest and grow, Woods said. They are using new, abundant domestic energy supplies to provide products to the world at a competitive advantage resulting from lower costs and abundant raw materials. In this way, an upstream technology breakthrough has led to a downstream manufacturing renaissance.

The sum of $20 billion would be roughly equal to Exxon’s total capital spending last year. The company announced last week that it plans to increase overall investments to an average of $25 billion a year from 2018 to 2020.

Woods said that ExxonMobil’s Gulf expansion projects are expected to provide long-term economic benefits to the region, noting the creation of direct employment opportunities and the multiplier effects of the company’s investments.

According to the American Chemistry Council, chemical manufacturing is one of America’s top exporting industries, accounting for 14 percent of overall U.S. exports in 2015, and exports of specific chemicals linked to shale gas are projected to reach $123 billion by 2030. Most of ExxonMobil’s planned new chemical capacity investment in the Gulf region is targeted toward export markets in Asia and elsewhere.

Importantly, Growing the Gulf will creates jobs and lasting economic benefits for the communities where they’re located.

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