ExMo to Boost Synlube Base Stock Capacity


ExxonMobil will increase its capacity for two key synthetic lubricant base stocks by more than 25 percent through a $200 million plus investment in its Baton Rouge, La., chemical and lubricants plants. The expansion will also include new finished lube blending and packaging facilities.

The company said the expansion project will make ExxonMobils Baton Rouge chemical plant the worlds largest producer of synthetic esters and alkylated naphthalene, which are used by producers and marketers of a wide variety of finished lubricants, including vehicle motor oils, gear oils and greases, as well as specialized lubricants for aviation, marine and industrial applications.

Construction is expected to begin in late 2012. The facilities will provide 45 new full-time local jobs when production begins in 2014.

The new facilities at our large, integrated Baton Rouge refining and chemical manufacturing complex will provide capacity to meet growth projections, optimize the manufacturing network and maintain strong supply reliability, ExxonMobil Chemical spokeswoman Margaret Ross told Lube Report. Our Baton Rouge manufacturing operations are well-positioned to meet domestic demand and to cost effectively serve export markets.

ExxonMobil spokeswoman Claire Hassett said the company sees synthetics growing at a greater rate than non-synthetics between now and 2020. China, the U.S. and Russia are driving the majority of the growth primarily due to the expanding automotive category, Hassett told Lube Report.

The project will include construction of a state-of-the-art blending center for synthetic aviation oil at ExxonMobils lubricant blending plant in Port Allen, La. The new aviation lubricants blending center reflects our continuing commitment to safe and reliable supply of aviation and other lubricant products, Julius Bedford, manager of ExxonMobils lubricant blending plant in Port Allen, La., stated. The 8.3 acre facility will manufacture more than 145 lubricant products and have an annual throughput of more than 90 million gallons

Paul Stratford, manager of the Baton Rouge chemical plant, noted ExxonMobil continues to invest in its operations in Louisiana. Over the past three years, the corporations capital expenditures in the state exceeded $930 million, he said in a statement. According to a company fact sheet, the Baton Rouge chemical plant spent approximately $82 million on capital upgrades in 2011 alone.

The new facilities in Baton Rouge will replace ExxonMobils existing base stock manufacturing and aviation lubricants blending, packaging and storage operations in Edison, N.J., which will continue production until the new facilities in Louisiana begin operation.

The company said the Baton Rouge expansion – along with a 50,000 tons per year high-vis metallocene polyalphaolefins plant under construction in Baytown, Texas, set to open next year – will position the company to meet long-term demand growth for synthetic lubricants.

The Baton Rouge chemical plant was founded in 1940 and is located on a 150-acre tract, according to the company fact sheet. The plant is staffed by more than 900 employees and the equivalent of 1,546 full-time contract personnel.

ExxonMobils Port Allen lubricants plant was completed in the fall of 1990 and is located on 50 acres west of the Mississippi River. The plant is staffed by 30 employees and 130 contract personnel. According to the fact sheet, its primary source of base stocks is the ExxonMobil Baton Rouge refinery via pipeline. Other base stocks from Baytown, Beaumont and Singapore arrive via pipeline, railcar or tank truck.

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