22 June 18 The Business Times by TAN HWEE HWEE
EXXONMOBIL has started production at two new multi-billion dollar plants, producing petrochemicals used in adhesives and manufacturing tyres.
The first plant, the world's largest of its kind, has an annual output of 90,000 tonnes of the company's proprietary product, Escorez hydrogenated hydrocarbon resins, the supermajor said on Thursday.
Hydrogenated hydrocarbon resins are used in hot-melt adhesives, typically used in packing, or baby diapers.
The second plant will produce premium halobutyl rubber used in the manufacturing of tyres. It is built to produce 140,000 tonnes of this product each year.
The two plants are part of a multi-billion dollar expansion project at ExxonMobil's integrated manufacturing complex in Singapore.
The two plants will add 140 jobs to ExxonMobil's existing workforce of more than 2,500 at this manufacturing complex; altogether, ExxonMobil has more than 4,000 employees in Singapore.
The expansion project, completed safely and on schedule, employed over 5,500 contract workers at the peak of its construction.
The start-up of the new plants follows the completion of ExxonMobil's acquisition of Jurong Aromatics Corporation's Jurong Island plant last August. The aromatics plant is one of the largest in the world.
Gan Seow Kee, chairman and managing director of ExxonMobil Asia-Pacific Pte Ltd, said: "With these latest additions, we are well-positioned to serve customers in key Asian growth markets.
"The expansion helps to further establish Singapore as a key producer of fuels and petrochemical products, particularly products that help our customers improve fuel economy and reduce emissions."
The new plants expand on ExxonMobil's flexible steam-cracking capability in Singapore, which provides a range of feedstock for upgraded specialty products to meet growing long-term demand in the Asia-Pacific.
The Singapore complex also includes a new cogeneration unit at the refinery, bringing the total cogeneration capacity of the site past 440 megawatts, which will help reduce emissions and support a more efficient use of energy.
Chng Kai Fong, managing director of the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB), said: "ExxonMobil's continued investments in Singapore underscore our efforts to be a competitive location for high-value chemicals manufacturing to serve fast-growing markets in Asia.
"Such investments are aligned with the EDB's efforts to build a strong Singaporean core as workers undergo upgrading to build new capabilities and take on high value-added jobs."