American oil and gas corporation ExxonMobil will fund a new polypropylene production unit in Baton Rouge in the state of Louisiana that will expand production capacity along the Gulf Coast by up to 450,000 tonnes per year.
Construction will begin in 2019 and the facility is expected to commence operations by 2021.
The project is expected to create up to 600 jobs during construction and 65 permanent jobs once completed.
ExxonMobil Chemical president John Verity said: “Growth in feedstock supply along with the increase in global demand for chemical products continues to drive our strategic investments and expansion along the Gulf Coast.
“We’re well positioned to meet the demand for these high-performance products and investing further in Baton Rouge enhances our facility’s competitiveness.”
Polypropylene can help improve the safety and performance of consumer products and also help improve vehicle fuel efficiency when used to manufacture lighter-weight auto parts.
The EPC contract has been awarded to Baton Rouge-based Turner Industries and Jacobs Engineering and both companies will use local workers to design and construct the new facility.
Previously, ExxonMobil had announced plans to invest $20bn to build and expand manufacturing facilities in the US Gulf region as part of its ‘Growing the Gulf’ initiative, which is expected to create 45,000 high-paying jobs across the region.
Projects under the ‘Growing the Gulf’ initiative include a new aviation lubricants blending, packaging and distribution facility in the Baton Rouge area, as well as refining and chemical expansions at ExxonMobil’s Beaumont and Baytown facilities.
ExxonMobil and SABIC have also created a joint venture to advance development of the Gulf Coast Growth Ventures project, a 1.8mmt ethane cracker planned in San Patricio County, Texas.
Earlier in 2019, ExxonMobil and Qatar Petroleum announced a decision to proceed with the development of the Golden Pass LNG export project in Sabine Pass, Texas.
ExxonMobil operations in Baton Rouge include a 502,000bpd refinery, chemical, lubricants and polyethylene plants.
Image: ExxonMobil oil refinery in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Photo: Courtesy of Adbar / Wikimedia Commons.