ExxonMobil Chemical officially opened its new polypropylene resin unit in Baton Rouge, La., on Jan. 19.
Officials with Irving, Texas-based ExxonMobil were joined at an opening event by Gov. John Bel Edwards. Work on the project, which represents an investment of more than $500 million, began in 2019. It will create 65 new direct jobs and more than 200 new indirect jobs.
The new unit has annual PP production capacity of around 1 billion pounds. ExxonMobil officials said the project helps the firm meet growing demand for durable, high-performance plastics.
The project is part of ExxonMobil's Growing the Gulf initiative, a 10-year plan to invest more than $20 billion to expand manufacturing facilities on the U.S. Gulf Coast. During construction, the project employed more than 650 workers and generated around $135 million in employee, contractor and construction payroll.
"The new [PP] production unit demonstrates ExxonMobil's long-standing commitment to Louisiana," Baton Rouge polyolefins plant manager Jonathan Morgan said. "The project allows us to train and hire more local residents while increasing our capacity to meet the growing global demand for lightweight, durable plastics."
Edwards added that for more than a century, ExxonMobil "has been a leader in innovative technology, community investment and workforce development in Louisiana."
"The PPG Project is just the latest example of how ExxonMobil's investments in our state create career opportunities for our citizens, provide new business for local companies and support community efforts," he added.
ExxonMobil's integrated operations in Baton Rouge include a more than 500,000 barrel-per-day oil refinery, as well as chemical, lubricants, polyolefins and plastics manufacturing. The firm has more than 5,500 employees and contractors in the Baton Rouge area. ExxonMobil's operations account for approximately one in every 10 jobs in the region.
The Baton Rouge startup is the second major PP resin capacity addition for North America in the past six months. In July, new producer Heartland Polymers opened a unit in Strathcona County, Alberta, that will have one billion pounds of capacity at full production.
ExxonMobil Chemical is a unit of global energy giant ExxonMobil Corp. The business is a major producer of PP and polyethylene resins, as well as specialty plastic and related feedstocks.