ExxonMobil reports that it will fund the construction of a new polypropylene production unit in Baton Rouge that will expand production capacity along the Gulf Coast by up to 450,000 tonnes per year.
Construction will begin in 2019 and start-up is anticipated by 2021. The project is expected to create up to 600 jobs during construction and 65 permanent jobs once completed.
“Growth in feedstock supply along with the increase in global demand for chemical products continues to drive our strategic investments and expansion along the Gulf Coast,” says John Verity, president of ExxonMobil Chemical Company. “We’re well positioned to meet the demand for these high-performance products and investing further in Baton Rouge enhances our facility’s competitiveness.”
Polypropylene is a versatile material that can help improve the safety and performance of everyday consumer products and help improve vehicle fuel efficiency when used to manufacture lighter-weight auto parts.
The engineering, procurement and construction contract has been awarded to Baton Rouge-based Turner Industries and Jacobs Engineering. The companies will use local workers to design and construct the new facility.
This new project is in addition to ExxonMobil’s previously announced plans to invest $20 billion to build and expand manufacturing facilities in the US Gulf region as part of its Growing the Gulf initiative, which is expected to create more than 45,000 high-paying jobs across the region.
Growing the Gulf projects include a new state-of-the-art aviation lubricants blending, packaging and distribution facility in the Baton Rouge area as well as refining and chemical expansions at ExxonMobil’s Beaumont and Baytown facilities. ExxonMobil and SABIC have also created a new joint venture to advance development of the Gulf Coast Growth Ventures project, a 1.8 million metric ton ethane cracker currently planned for construction in San Patricio County, Texas. And, earlier this month, ExxonMobil and Qatar Petroleum announced a decision to proceed with the development of the Golden Pass LNG export project in Sabine Pass, Texas.
ExxonMobil’s integrated operations in Baton Rouge include a 502,000 barrel-per-day refinery, as well as chemical, lubricants and polyethylene plants. ExxonMobil has more than 2,500 employees in the Baton Rouge area and its operations account for approximately 1 in every 10 jobs in the region.