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  Channel NewsAsia 5 Sep 07
ExxonMobil to build its second steam-cracker complex in Singapore

Today Online 6 Sep 07
A new cracker on Jurong Island
ExxonMobil to build another multi-billion-dollar complex in Singapore
Johnson Choo

Business Times 6 Sep 07
ExxonMobil backs S'pore with big bet
US$4 billion second cracker project will crank up petrochemicals output,
export to China, India
By Ronnie Lim

Straits Times 6 Sep 07
ExxonMobil to go ahead with second petrochem complex
By Nicholas Fang

AFTER mulling over the project for three years, energy giant ExxonMobil has given the official go-ahead to its second multi-billion dollar petrochemical complex on Jurong Island.

The huge complex will enable the world's No.1 oil company to meet increasing demand for the by-products of oil products to be made there. These chemicals help make plastics which are in heavy demand for use in countless consumer products worldwide.

The project also spells a jobs bonanza here as 10,000 workers will be needed at the peak of construction and 400 business and plant jobs will be created when the complex is up and running in 2011.

The project will include a world-scale steam cracker, the fifth cracker in Singapore, which will be able to process oil products into one million tonnes of ethylene a year. Ethylene is a raw material used to make plastics, and higher-priced plastic products including polyethylene and polypropylene.

ExxonMobil currently operates a 900,000 tonnes-a-year cracker and a 605,000 barrels-a-day refinery, its largest in the world, in Singapore.

Industry watchers have put the cost of building the new complex at close to US$4 billion (S$6.1 billion), almost double that of its first complex. And when operational, it could boost the petrochemical sector's output by between 20 and 25 per cent, said Economic Development Board (EDB) assistant managing director Aw Kah Peng.

The chemicals cluster generated $75 billion in output last year, with petrochemicals contributing $22 billion.

ExxonMobil Chemical Co (ECC) president Michael J. Dolan said in a statement yesterday: 'This is a significant investment for ExxonMobil and it demonstrates our continued commitment to serve Asia-Pacific as well as our confidence in the region's long-term growth potential. 'We have a long and successful history in Singapore.

'This project supports Singapore's vision to be a global petrochemicals hub and enhances ExxonMobil Chemical's ability to meet increasing demands for our products in the region.'

The new plant will also have two 650,000 tonnes-a-year polyethylene units, a 450,000 tonnes-a-year polypropylene unit and other units producing various speciality products. A 220 MW power co-generation unit will also be built.

Site preparation on Jurong Island has been under way in recent months and construction of the main components of the project is expected to begin shortly, an ExxonMobil spokesman said yesterday. The relocation of the Jurong Island Highway to accommodate the new plant started last year.

ExxonMobil Asia Pacific also said it has awarded the design, engineering, procurement and construction contract for the steam cracker and power co-generation unit to the US-based Shaw Group.

ECC senior vice-president Sherman J. Glass, Jr said: 'We want to acknowledge the support of the Singapore Government and the EDB for helping us to develop a competitive and attractive project in their country.'

EDB's Ms Aw said the new project will take the Republic closer to a 'critical mass' needed before the industry can start producing higher value products: 'The new cracker brings the total tonnage of ethylene being produced to close to four million tonnes per year.

'With these higher volumes, we are able to extract more downstream products which are more valuable.'

Ms Aw said Singapore had the resources and space to support production of up to six million tonnes and possibly two more crackers.

She declined to say when this was likely to happen, and pointed out that it had taken close to 25 years to move from zero production in the early 1980s to four million tonnes today.

Channel NewsAsia 5 Sep 07
ExxonMobil to build its second steam-cracker complex in Singapore

The petrochemicals giant ExxonMobil says it will go ahead to build its second steam-cracker complex in Singapore. The project is estimated to cost more than six billion dollars and will take Singapore's ethylene output to four million tonnes a year.

However, the EDB is already planning to further boost ethylene output by another 50 per cent.

The new cracker on Jurong island, to be completed early 2011, will be Singapore's fifth. It's also the second in as many years.

Just last year, Shell Eastern started constructing its $4.6 billion dollar cracker on Bukom Island which will be completed by 2010.

The two plants are expected to increase Singapore's petrochemical output by 40 per cent. Output from the industry amounted to S$22 billion last year. Together, they will produce 4 million tonnes of ethylene a year.

But the EDB wants to push this even further. "We certainly are looking at how to grow this sector. We've reached a critical mass and we hope to take it even further. So from four million tonnes of ethylene a year, we hope to get six plus million tonnes a year. That would really put Singapore on par with roughly what you see in Japan today. It will enable us to further broaden our downstream activities and add value and bring value out of the entire development, said Aw Kah Peng, Director of Chemicals of the Economic Development Board.

The new cracker will provide feedstock or raw materials to produce high value products, such as specialty elastomers and polyethylene resins. Exxon says this will make its existing refinery and petrochemical complex more cost-competitive.

"Our project is a fully integrated project that employs Exxonmobil's proprietary technology, we see that as giving us a lot of competitive advantage, so by being fully integrated, it gives us advantage in feedstocks, it gives us advantages in operating costs, it gives us advantages in overall investments, said Jeffrey Davis, Asia Pacific Manufacturing Director of ExxonMobil Chemical Company.

Its decision to go ahead demonstrates its confidence in Singapore as well as the long term market growth and demand for plastics.

"Our markets are the petrochemical markets and these markets are growing very rapidly. So, they're growing twice GDP, over the next ten years, we expect that over half of that demand will be in Asia. And these markets go ahead, they go into textiles, they go into consumer products, they go into automotive, they cross a large variety of markets," Mr Davis added.

Economists estimate this new plant will add up to half a percent to Singapore's GDP.- CNA/vm

Today Online 6 Sep 07
A new cracker on Jurong Island
ExxonMobil to build another multi-billion-dollar complex in Singapore
Johnson Choo

ExxonMobil Chemical Company a subsidiary of the world's biggest oil company, Exxon Mobil has decided to go ahead and build a new international-standard steam cracker complex on Jurong Island. This will be the company's second steam cracker complex and the fifth for Singapore's thriving petrochemical industry.

"This project supports Singapore's vision to be a global petrochemicals hub and enhances ExxonMobil Chemical's ability to meet increasing demand for our products in the region," said Mr Michael Dolan, president of ExxonMobil Chemical Company.

The Texas-based oil giant did not disclose the cost of the project, but a spokesperson put it at "several billion dollars". The complex could trump the $3.10-billion steam cracker it commissioned in July 2001, both in terms of cost and output.

The new project, to be integrated with ExxonMobil's existing operation on Jurong Island, will enable it to produce 1 million tons of ethylene, 1.3 million tons of polyethylene, 450,000 tons of polypropylene, 300,000 tons of specialty elastomers, 340,000 tons of benzene and an oxo-alcohol expansion of 125,000 tons every year.

These derivatives from crude oil are used to manufacture a wide range of consumer products that include plastics and rubber.

The project will also include a 220-megawatt co-generation power plant. ExxonMobil's new facility is expected to come on line in early 2011.

Mr Samuel Liew, an analyst with Chemical Market Associates, said "the new cracker is in time to capture the next peak in the petrochemical cycle", which normally lasts seven to eight years for each cycle.

"Over the next 10 years, we expect that some 60 per cent of the world's petrochemical growth will occur in Asia. Over one-third of that growth will be in China," said Mr Sherman Glass Jr, senior vice-president of ExxonMobil Chemical Company.

"By 2015, we expect Asia will account for 50 per cent of global demand for key commodity products and China alone will account for 25 per cent."

United States-based Shaw Group has been awarded the design, engineering, procurement and construction contract. The engineering contract for the cracker furnaces went to Japan's Mitsui Engineering and Shipbuilding, and Heurtey Petrochemical of France.

Economic Development Board figures show petrochemicals contributed about $22 billion, or 30 per cent, of the record $75 billion for the chemical sector last year. Singapore's total capacity for ethylene production is expected to increase from 2.1 million tons per year to 4 million tons per year when new crackers from ExxonMobil and Shell, set up last year, are fully operational.

Business Times 6 Sep 07
ExxonMobil backs S'pore with big bet
US$4 billion second cracker project will crank up petrochemicals output,
export to China, India
By Ronnie Lim

(SINGAPORE) A giant petrochemical complex, whose significance to Singapore was highlighted by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in the run-up to the last General Election, finally got the green light yesterday.

ExxonMobil's second complex on Jurong Island will become operational in early 2011 and will export to booming Asian economies like China and India.

The new Singapore Parallel Train (SPT) complex - estimated to cost at least US$4 billion, or double that of ExxonMobil's first 900,000 tonnes per annum (tpa) complex alongside it - will boast the largest single ethylene steam cracker here with capacity of one million tpa.

Just six months back, rival Shell broke ground on its new 800,000 tpa cracker complex here and, between them, the two facilities could increase Singapore's petrochemical output by 40 per cent when they are operational.

SPT will take ExxonMobil's total investment in Singapore to around US$11 billion. The oil giant has already invested US$6.5 billion so far in its first petrochemical complex and its 605,000-barrel refinery here.

After detailed studies that started in June last year, Michael Dolan, president of ExxonMobil (EM) Chemical Company announced yesterday that the new project was ready to roll.

Said Mr Dolan: 'The project supports Singapore's vision to be a global petrochemicals hub and enhances EM's ability to meet increasing demand for our products in the region.'

The SPT investment was first mooted back in 2004 and, in the run-up to the last election, Prime Minister Lee had mentioned that global investors like EM would be reassured by Singapore's stability before sinking their billions here.

The two new crackers by EM and Shell will eventually give Singapore a total of five crackers with a total capacity of 4.1 million tpa - more than half of Japan's seven million tpa capacity.

'The impact of Shell's and EM's crackers will be very significant,' Aw Kah Peng, deputy managing director of the Economic Development Board, said. 'Together, they will increase Singapore's petrochemical output by 40 per cent when they are operational.'

This is considerable as in 2006, petrochemicals accounted for $22 billion of the total chemicals industry output here of $75 billion, she added. Apart from the main cracker, EM said that SPT comprises six secondary plants and also significantly, its own dedicated 220 megawatt cogeneration unit, which EM will build, own and operate to supply electricity, and other utilities like steam and cooling water, to the complex. It is negotiating to buy gas from Borneo for its cogen plant.

The six downstream plants comprise two 650,000 tpa polyethylene units, a 450,000 tpa polypropylene unit, a 300,000 tpa specialty elastomers unit (its first in Asia), an aromatics extraction unit to produce 340,000 tpa of benzene and an oxo-alcohol expansion of 125,000 tpa.

These will produce a broad range of intermediates for industrial customers to convert to higher-value, end-products like plastics with elastic qualities, and also high-performance products for film applications in China and other parts of Asia.

EM officials earlier indicated that China would be a significant market. In the coming decade, some 60 per cent of the world's petrochemicals growth will be in Asia, with China accounting for one-third of that.

That is why EM is also building a joint venture petrochemical complex in Fujian to cater to this demand.

To kickstart SPT, EM has awarded the construction contract for the steam cracker recovery unit to The Shaw Group, and that for the steam cracker furnaces to Mitsui Engineering and Shipbuilding and Heurtey. Mitsui was also given the building contracts for the polypropylene and specialty elastomers units, while that for the two polyethylene units went to Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. More than 10,000 workers will be employed on the project at the peak of construction, adding to the 6,000 to 8,000 people working on Shell's Houdini project in 2008-2009.

'We will manage the construction issues,' an EM spokeswoman said, when asked if it anticipated building bottlenecks.

SPT will create 400 new plant and business positions, EM said. There will also be business spin-offs for SMEs, added EDB's Ms Aw.

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