ExxonMobil announced March 24 that construction is progressing on a new linear alpha olefins manufacturing unit at its integrated petrochemical complex in Baytown, Texas. Commercial startup is targeted for mid-2023.
First announced in May 2019, the $2.1 billion project includes two units – one with capacity when fully operational to make 350,000 metric tons per year of LAOs, the other to produce 400,000 t/y of performance polymers.
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The company said it will manufacture 10 LAO products at the site and market the new offering under the Elevexx brand name.
LAOs are used to make polyalphaolefin base stocks. They are also used in a variety of other applications, like engine and industrial oils, plastic packaging and as building blocks for surfactants and other specialty chemicals.
ExxonMobil is the world’s largest PAO producer but is not vertically integrated to produce LAOs, as are some of its PAO competitors, like Ineos and Chevron Phillips Chemical. Merchant sellers of LAO include Shell Chemical, Ineos and Chevron Phillips Chemical. Founded in 1919, the company’s Baytown facility is located on approximately 3,400 acres along the Houston Ship Channel, about 25 miles east of Houston. The facility includes a refinery, chemical plant, olefins plant, plastics plant and technology center.