Expansions: ExxonMobil doubles PP production at Baton Rouge; Johnson Matthey ups capacity for formaldehyde in Sweden

ExxonMobil doubles PP production at Baton Rouge

US firm ExxonMobil has announced the successful start-up of its new polypropylene production unit at the polyolefins plant in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The unit increases PP production capacity along the Gulf Coast by 450,000 tonnes/year, meeting growing demand for high-performance, lightweight and durable plastics, particularly for automotive parts that can improve fuel efficiency and reduce vehicle emissions.

ExxonMobil maintained its investments in this advantaged project through the Covid pandemic and related economic downturn. The total capital investment was more than US$500 million.

Polypropylene, a polymer with several applications, is also used to improve the safety and efficiency of everyday products like medical masks and food packaging.

“With the start-up of this new production unit, we are well positioned to responsibly meet the growing global demand for these high-performance polymers,” said Karen McKee, president of ExxonMobil Product Solutions. “The ingenuity of our people and our investments in technology enable us to produce high quality products that are essential to daily life.”

During construction, the project employed more than 650 workers and with full operational status, requires an additional 65 full-time ExxonMobil jobs.

ExxonMobil’s integrated operations in Baton Rouge include a more than 500,000 barrel-per-day refinery, as well as chemical, lubricants, polyolefins and plastics manufacturing. ExxonMobil has more than 5,500 employees and contractors in the Baton Rouge area and its operations account for approximately one in every 10 jobs in the region.

Johnson Matthey ups capacity for formaldehyde in Sweden

In other news, Johnson Matthey has announced the expansion of its manufacturing facility in Perstorp, Sweden, to meet growing demand for formaldehyde – a versatile building block used in various everyday products. The expansion, which will be operational by the end of March 2024, will increase the site’s capacity by approximately 50%.

Formaldehyde is an important component used in applications across many industries. It is used to produce biodegradable plastics and building components such as resins and adhesives for wood products, as well as paints, pharmaceuticals, and seat belts and windscreen wipers in the automotive sector.

Increasing demand for formaldehyde has partly been driven by the chemicals market in China where new legislation has been introduced to phase out the use of single-use plastic by 2025.

Alberto Giovanzana, Managing Director for Catalyst Technologies at Johnson Matthey said: “By expanding our Perstorp site, we will be best placed to meet the global demand for this versatile chemical, and ensure the team at Perstorp can continue to deliver for its customers around the world.”


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