ExxonMobil Chemical has added more than 1.5 billion pounds of specialty materials production in Baytown, Texas.
The Spring, Texas-based firm announced the opening of the two new units on Sept. 19.
Officials said the $2 billion expansion "is part of ExxonMobil's long-term growth plans to deliver higher-value products" from its U.S. Gulf Coast refining and chemical facilities.
"With startup of these two new lines, ExxonMobil is delivering high-value materials for a variety of products that society depends on every day," said Karen McKee, president of ExxonMobil Product Solutions.
She added that the firm "achieved excellent safety performance by leveraging our expertise to plan and execute large projects, while providing meaningful investment in the U.S. Gulf Coast."
A new performance polymers line has annual production capacity of almost 900 million pounds of Vistamaxx-brand and Exact-brand specialty elastomers. Applications include automotive parts, construction materials, hygiene and personal care products, and packaging applications.
Officials said that Vistamaxx can increase the durability of consumer products like reusable containers to extend their useful life while also allowing for higher recycled content. They added that Exact can help meet growing demand in the auto industry for thinner, lighter weight parts that improve fuel efficiency.
A new linear alpha olefins unit will have almost 800 million pounds of annual production capacity for Elevexx-brand LAOs. The unit marks ExxonMobil's entry into the market.
LAOs are used in plastic packaging, engine and industrial oils and other applications. They're also building blocks for surfactants and drag reducing agents.
Officials said the firm maintained its investment in the project through the pandemic and related economic downturn. They added that the units started up safely according to planned schedule.
During construction, the project supported more than 3,500 jobs. The project also will create 200 full-time jobs.
ExxonMobil's Baytown facility is one of the largest integrated refining and petrochemical complexes in the world. The complex was founded in 1919 and is located on approximately 3,400 acres along the Houston Ship Channel, about 25 miles east of Houston.
In 2021, ExxonMobil announced scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emission reduction plans for 2030 for operated assets, compared with 2016 levels. The plans are to achieve 20-30 percent reduction in corporatewide greenhouse gas intensity, as well as 40-50 percent reduction in greenhouse gas intensity of upstream operations, 70-80 percent reduction in corporatewide methane intensity and 60-70 percent reduction in corporatewide flaring intensity.