Mitsubishi to build two polyethylene plants for ExxonMobil in Houston

Polyethylene bottles
Source: DollarPhotoClub

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries America, Inc. (MHIA), fully owned subsidiary of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI), has received an order from ExxonMobil Chemical Company (ExxonMobil) for two large-scale polyethylene (PE) plant lines with a combined production capacity of 1.3 million tons per year.

The PE plant on order is to be constructed on a site adjacent to ExxonMobil’s existing plant near Houston, Texas. Earlier MHI received an order to provide engineering design, land preparation work, etc. at the site. The latest contract covers engineering, procurement and construction (EPC).

The new contract includes two PE plant lines each having a production capacity of 650,000 tons per year, consisting of reaction equipment as well as finishing, packaging and shipping equipment. It also includes the construction of utility facilities for water, air and steam.

The Polyethylene plant project is an ExxonMobil expansion project to increase a capacity of its existing complex near Houston to produce the plastic polyethylene. The product will be a premium-grade polyethylene which can be used to make lighter and lower cost packaging products with smaller environmental footprints. The PE expansion project is part of a multibillion-dollar project which ExxonMobil estimates will create 10,000 jobs in the area during its construction and will create about $870 million of economic activity annually once it’s up and running.

MHI has enjoyed a favourable relationship with ExxonMobil for some time. In addition to a robust track record in orders for large-scale compressor turbines for ExxonMobil’s ethylene plants, in 2011 MHI completed a project to construct a large-scale PE plant (two lines), also with a total production capacity of 1.3 million tons per year, as part of a petrochemical complex ExxonMobil owns on Jurong Island in southwest Singapore.

To date MHI has received orders for a total of 13 PE plants. The latest contract was successfully concluded thanks not only to this track record but also to the client’s high evaluation of MHI’s capabilities in PE plant engineering.

The U.S market for chemical plants is expanding rapidly today amidst increasing production of shale gas. In view of this market trend, in April 2013 MHIA expanded an Environmental Systems Division and newly established Environmental and Chemical Plant Division in Houston. Going forward, liaising closely with this new base the company looks not only to strengthen its ties of trust with ExxonMobil but also to undertake proactive sales activities in the U.S.’s increasingly vibrant chemical plant market.

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