ExxonMobil signed a cooperation framework agreement to build a chemical complex, and to invest in an LNG terminal in China's Guangdong province, the company announced Wednesday.
"The agreement was signed with the Guangdong Provincial People's Government to advance discussions concerning the proposed construction of a chemical complex in the Huizhou Dayawan Petrochemical Industrial Park," a press release read.
The new facility is expected to help meet demand growth for chemical products in China and startup is planned for 2023, the statement said.
The multibillion-dollar project, which remains subject to a final investment decision, including receipt of permits and project competitiveness, would include a 1.2 million-tons-per-year ethylene flexible feed steam cracker, two performance polyethylene lines and two differentiated performance polypropylene lines.
"The framework agreement also confirms Guangdong province's support in progressing the Huizhou LNG receiving terminal, in which ExxonMobil intends to participate, including supply of LNG," the oil and gas major added.
According to the statement, the company is also evaluating other chemicals manufacturing projects in Asia to help meet expected demand growth in the region. The company foresees a 40 percent growth in chemicals manufacturing capacity in the Asia Pacific region and in North America.
"That growth will be achieved in part by adding 13 new facilities, including two world-class steam crackers in the United States that are part of the company’s Growing the Gulf initiative. These investments would enable the company to meet increasing demand in Asia and other growing markets," it said.
The company recently started operations at its new 1.5 million ton-per-year ethane cracker at the company's integrated Baytown chemical and refining complex in Texas. ExxonMobil and Saudi Arabian company SABIC have also created a new joint venture to advance development of the Gulf Coast Growth Ventures project, a 1.8 million tonne ethane cracker currently planned for construction in San Patricio County, Texas. The facility will also include a monoethylene glycol unit and two polyethylene units.
According to the statement, ExxonMobil's downstream and chemical businesses both have a presence in China, and the company operates primarily through its Shanghai-based ExxonMobil (China) Investment Co. Ltd. affiliate. The company is also a joint venture partner with Sinopec, Fujian province and Saudi Aramco in China's first integrated refining and petrochemical facility to include international participation.
ExxonMobil, the largest publicly traded international oil and gas company, is one of the largest refiners and marketers of petroleum products, and its chemical company is one of the largest in the world.
By Hale Turkes