ExxonMobil’s new polypropylene resin unit slated to begin construction this year is part of the company’s overall optimism in the plastics industry, Plastics News reports.
The plant, scheduled for production in 2021 with an annual production capacity of almost 1 billion pounds, comes as ExxonMobil has added more than 3 billion pounds of annual polyethylene capacity on the U.S. Gulf Coast since 2017.
In the polyethylene market, global capacity additions continue to try keeping pace with growth of 3.5% to 4% per year. ExxonMobil also is working with Sabic Innovative Plastics on a petrochemical project, including new polyethylene lines, that’s set to open in 2022 in Texas.
“Most [PE] demand growth is in growing regions,” David Hergenrether, polyethylene vice president, told the publication. “The market might be a little overcapacity now, but demand will come back.” He says that adding new capacity in North America—thanks to expansion of shale gas assets in the region—has given ExxonMobil “an opportunity to be a supplier for global growth.”