Still more growth could be headed for ExxonMobil Chemical's massive complex in Baytown, Texas.
The Houston-based firm is planning a $1.9 billion expansion in Baytown that would include two plastics units, according to an Aug. 22 report from the Houston Chronicle. The Chronicle credited the Houston Business Journal with first reporting the story.
The expansion would create 65 permanent jobs, with construction beginning in mid-2021 and concluding in 2023.
Officials with ExxonMobil could not be reached for comment. The Chronicle item said that the expansion plans were detailed in an application for Chapter 313 tax exemptions with the Goose Creek Consolidated Independent School District.
Since 2017, ExxonMobil has added more than 3 billion pounds of annual polyethylene resin production capacity, mostly at a new facility in Mont Belvieu, Texas. ExxonMobil and other firms are adding capacity as a result of newfound supplies of natural gas feedstock throughout North America.
In July, ExxonMobil opened a massive new ethane cracker in Baytown with annual capacity of more than 3 billion pounds of ethylene feedstock. Officials said at the time that the new capacity will be used to make PE in Mont Belvieu.
"Our new ethane cracker will help us meet the growing global demand for high performance plastic products that deliver key sustainability benefits such as lighter packaging weight, lower energy consumption and reduced emissions," ExxonMobil Chemical President John Verity said in a July 26 news release.
He added that the abundance of domestically produced oil and natural gas "has reduced energy costs and created new sources of feedstock for U.S. Gulf refining and chemical manufacturing while creating jobs and expanding economic activity in the area."
ExxonMobil is spending more than $20 billion on petrochemical projects in the region as part of a program titled Growing the Gulf.