HOUSTON — Exxon Chemical Co. will move further into the upper echelon of high density polyethylene makers with a 400 million-pound-per-year expansion at its Paxon Polymers plant in Baton Rouge, La.
The expansion will give Exxon total HDPE capacity of almost 2.5 billion pounds, placing it second in production volume only to Equistar, the new Lyondell Petrochemical/Millennium Chemical venture, said HDPE blow molding and sheet sales director Charlie Davidson.
Exxon entered the HDPE arena in 1990 when it bought half of Paxon from AlliedSignal Inc. of Morristown, N.J. Exxon then built 396 million pounds of HDPE production in Mont Belvieu, Texas, and 638 million pounds in Sarnia, Ontario, before buying the rest of Paxon in early 1996.
North American HDPE production through July was 1.1 percent higher than it was at the same point last year, according to the Society of the Plastics Industry Inc. in Washington.
HDPE produced at the Paxon site, which uses a Phillips loop-slurry process, is mainly for dairy and food packaging.