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  Channel NewsAsia 6 Nov 07
ExxonMobil breaks ground for largest petrochemical complex in S'pore

Today Online 7 Nov 07
Chemicals: A bright future
ExxonMobil to build a second plant in S'pore
Nazry Bahrawi

Straits Times 7 Nov 07
Work starts on ExxonMobil's 2nd petrochemical plant here
Upon completion in 2011, it will be US giant's largest such facility in the world
By Erica Tay

Business Times - 07 Nov 2007
Govt will remove hurdles to Jurong Island's boom
ExxonMobil, Shell projects will give big edge to S'pore chemicals sector: PM
By Nisha Ramchandani

(SINGAPORE) ExxonMobil Chemical Company's massive new petrochemical project here will make Jurong Island the company's biggest integrated manufacturing site worldwide and a strong endorsement of Singapore's pro-business environment.

Speaking yesterday morning at the ground- breaking ceremony, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said the government will do all it can to ensure sufficient resources to support the building of new plants.

'In anticipation of the construction boom in the chemical industry, the government has acted to head off potential supply constraints,' he said.

'Jurong Island's security checkpoint will be expanded to cope with the heavier traffic, especially during peak hours. And earlier this year, we streamlined our foreign worker rules to make them more flexible.

'The government is committed to providing companies with the necessary support to create and extract maximum value from their projects.'

The chemical complex, expected to come on stream in early 2011, is estimated to cost more than US$4 billion. It will include a one million tonnes per year ethylene steam cracker; two 650,000 tonnes polyethylene units; a 450,000 tonnes polypropylene unit; a 300,000 tonnes specialty elastomers unit; an aromatics extraction unit to produce 340,000 tonnes per year of benzene; and an oxo-alcohol expansion of 125,000 tonnes per year.

A 220 megawatt co-generation power plant will also be built.

The complex - with ExxonMobil's 605,000 barrels per day (bpd) refinery here - makes the company Singapore's single largest foreign manufacturing investor.

The output of the chemicals cluster at S$74 billion is higher than that of electronics. And strong growth is expected in the next 10 years.

Shell is building a US$3 billion petrochemical cracker complex here, expected to be completed in 2009-10. And when ExxonMobil and Shell's crackers come on stream, this will double Singapore's ethylene output to 4 million tonnes a year.

'This critical mass of ethylene will allow the industry to capture value from new chemical chains and produce specialty and higher-value chemicals and polymers,' Mr Lee said.

'We can move from commodities to specialties, strengthening competitiveness and distinguishing ourselves from other chemical-producing regions such as China and the Middle East.'

ExxonMobil's new plant will be able to convert a wide variety of feedstock into higher-value products, said Kwa Chong Seng, chairman and managing director of ExxonMobil Asia Pacific. The specialty elastomers unit, for instance, will produce new metallocene-based Vistamaxx specialty elastomers. Vistamaxx will be used for next-generation medical, automative and apparel materials.

Mr Kwa said up to 10,000 people will be hired to construct the plant and 400 to run it when it comes on stream.

Channel NewsAsia 6 Nov 07
ExxonMobil breaks ground for largest petrochemical complex in S'pore

SINGAPORE: US energy giant ExxonMobil on Tuesday began building the world's largest petrochemical complex in Singapore, which is expected to be ready by 2011.

The petrochemical complex, which will be ExxonMobil's second plant in the city-state, would be capable of producing one million tons of ethylene and 1.3 million tons of polyethylene annually.

It is also capable of producing 450,000 tons of polypropylene and 300,000 tons of specialty elastomers, the company said.

ExxonMobil executives declined to say how much was invested in the petrochemical plant, but industry experts estimate that a project of such size could require investments of 2.0 billion US dollars.

Regional managing director Kwa Chong Seng said the new complex "will strengthen ExxonMobil's supply capabilities to serve the growing needs for petrochemical products in Asia and globally."

"The new Singapore project will employ ExxonMobil's latest proprietary technologies, and will have the capability to process a broad range of feedstocks and convert them into higher value products," he said at the groundbreaking ceremony.

ExxonMobil's new petrochemical complex will be located on Jurong Island, which houses Singapore's flourishing multi-billion dollar chemicals industry.

The US energy firm's decision to build the complex in Singapore is a further boost to the island-nation's position as a regional chemical industrial base for the world's leading players.

Output from the chemicals industry is now worth 74 billion Singapore dollars (51 billion US), Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said. - AFP/ac

Today Online 7 Nov 07
Chemicals: A bright future
ExxonMobil to build a second plant in S'pore
Nazry Bahrawi

THE outlook for Singapore's chemical industry is "promising", with growth stronger than the last decade's expected in the next 10 years, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said yesterday at the groundbreaking of ExxonMobil's second petrochemical plant on Jurong Island.

The cluster has seen unprecedented growth and transformation, with last year's manufacturing output worth $74 billion, $1 billion more than the electronics cluster.

Global demand for petrochemical products is rising about 5 to 6 per cent per year, said ExxonMobil Chemical president Michael Dolan. Asia's demand, he added, is about twice that figure.

When both ExxonMobil and Shell crackers come onstream, total ethylene output in Singapore will double to around 4 million tonnes a year.

"This critical mass of ethylene output will allow the industry to capture value from new chemical chains, and produce specialty and higher-value chemicals and polymers," Mr Lee said, adding that Singapore can then move up the value chain, from commodities to specialties, distinguishing itself from other chemical-producing regions such as China and the Middle East.

Citing packaging as a growth area for petrochemicals where polymers are replacing energy-intensive materials like glass and steel, Mr Dolan said: "We're seeing continued penetration because of the inherent benefits that these materials provide, the energy efficiency, the functionality, so we're very bullish on growth."

ExxonMobil's project is expected to come onstream in early 2011.

ExxonMobil's decision to embark on its second plant reflects its confidence in Singapore to provide a conducive business environment over the long term, said Mr Lee, adding that the Government is committed to providing companies with the necessary support for their projects. The Government, Mr Lee said, has acted to head off potential supply constraints in anticipation of the construction boom in the chemicals industry.

Mr Lee also outlined plans to develop manpower, namely the Chemical Industry Manpower Advisory Council a grouping with members from the private sector and the Economic Development Board who will work with industry members to develop manpower initiatives for the chemical sector.

Straits Times 7 Nov 07
Work starts on ExxonMobil's 2nd petrochemical plant here
Upon completion in 2011, it will be US giant's largest such facility in the world
By Erica Tay

CONSTRUCTION is under way on ExxonMobil's largest petrochemical complex in the world, on Jurong Island.

The energy and chemical giant broke ground yesterday at a ceremony attended by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

Top ExxonMobil executives flew in from around the world for the big day, which follows about three years of deliberations.

'When this plant is completed in 2011, the Singapore complex will be ExxonMobil's largest owned and operated petrochemical plant,' said Mr Kwa Chong Seng, chairman and managing director of ExxonMobil Asia Pacific.

The company declined to disclose the cost of the project but industry watchers estimate it to be at least US$4 billion (S$5.8 billion).

The plant will be groundbreaking in another way, when it is up and running. The complex - which comprises a world-scale cracker and several downstream units - is equipped to turn crude oil components into petrochemical products that are new to consumers in booming Asia.

For example, it will be the first location in the world where ExxonMobil Chemical will produce large-scale commercial quantities of a new-age material called Vistamaxx.

This is a kind of speciality elastomer or rubber said to have unprecedented elasticity, softness and strength, with uses ranging from medical equipment to space-age fabrics.

The multi-billion dollar complex will be the group's second chemical plant in Singapore.

It will employ an additional 400 permanent staff when up and running.

Together, ExxonMobil's new and existing chemical plants in Singapore will turn crude oil components into nearly two million tonnes of ethylene - an ingredient for making plastics - annually, almost half of Singapore's projected ethylene capacity.

Add to that its oil refinery next door, the plants will form part of the energy giant's biggest integrated site worldwide.

At the peak of construction, the ExxonMobil project will employ up to 10,000 workers.

Besides the Houston-based group, European giant Shell is also building a world-scale cracker complex, spanning Jurong Island and Pulau Bukom, which will require about 8,000 workers at the height of construction.

With two mega petrochemical projects taking place, Mr Lee yesterday reassured investors such as ExxonMobil that the Government is committed to supporting the construction of new plants.

'In anticipation of the construction boom in the chemical industry, the Government has acted to head off potential supply constraints,' he said in a speech. Measures include expanding the Jurong Island security checkpoint to cope with heavier traffic and making rules on foreign workers more flexible.

'We will do all we can to ensure adequate resources to support the construction of new plants,'' said Mr Lee.

For the industry's longer- term staffing needs, a council made up of representatives from the Economic Development Board and the private sector is also working on manpower initiatives to fill chemical sector jobs.

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