-- "Exxon Mobil Corp. is planning a multibillion-dollar petrochemical
expansion at its Baytown, Texas complex to take advantage of the country’s
increasing supplies of natural gas.
“The proposed investment reflects Exxon Mobil’s continued confidence
in the natural gas-driven revitalization of the U.S. chemical industry,”
the company said in a statement.
The project would include a new ethane unit, which would provide
ethylene feedstock for two new polyethylene production lines at the
company’s nearby Mont Belvieu plastics plant. Polyethylene is used in a
wide variety of consumer and industrial products.
Exxon Mobil joins other petrochemicals producers that have announced
natural gas-fueled expansion plans in recent months. For example, Dow
Chemical is expanding in Freeport and Chevron Phillips is building a new
chemical plant in Baytown.
In its statement, Exxon Mobil also said the expansion could lead to
significantly increased exports. “We believe the North American natural
gas resource is abundant and can support both domestic energy needs as
well as exports to the global market.”
The company says the project would create about 10,000 construction
jobs. About 350 permanent jobs would be added to a workforce of about
6,500 full-time and contractor jobs in the Baytown area."
MP: Another example of the shale-gas-driven renaissance of energy-intensive American manufacturing. In a March Merrill-Lynch report titled "An Industrial Revolution," the authors
listed 68 new major industrial investment projects totaling
more than $200 billion that have been announced or started just since
2011 in a wide variety of manufacturing industries like petrochemicals,
chemicals, steel, refining, autos, heavy equipment, aerospace, plastics
and ethylene. Add Exxon Mobil's latest announcement to the growing list of planned industrial expansions in the U.S. as a result of the shale revolution.