ExxonMobil upgrading Singapore bottom of the barrel to higher quality lube base stock and cleaner fuels
ExxonMobil said in April 2019 that it has made a final investment decision on a multi-billion dollar expansion of its integrated manufacturing complex in Singapore to convert fuel oil and other bottom-of-the-barrel crude products into higher-value lube base stocks and distillates.
The expansion project is part of the company’s plan to further enhance the competitiveness of the Singapore facility, which includes the world’s only steam cracker capable of cracking crude oil. The project, which leverages proprietary technologies, integration and scale, will significantly increase site downstream and chemical earnings potential. Engineering, procurement and construction activities have begun, and startup is anticipated in 2023.
“The demand for high-quality fuels and lubricants will increase as the global economy expands,” said Bryan Milton, president of ExxonMobil Fuels & Lubricants Company. “By using a combination of proprietary catalyst and process technologies, we will increase the site’s competitiveness and help meet growing demand for high-performance lubricants and cleaner fuels.”
The investment will add 20,000 barrels per day of ExxonMobil Group II base stocks capacity, which includes EHCTM 50 and EHCTM 120 grades, in addition to a new high-viscosity Group II base stock to meet increasing demand in the Asia-Pacific region.
“The project also applies new chemicals technologies and leverages integration across the crude cracker and refining complex to further enhance the competitiveness of crude cracking,” said Karen McKee, president of ExxonMobil Chemical Company.
The expansion will add the capacity to increase production of cleaner fuels with lower-sulfur content by 48,000 barrels per day, including high-quality ExxonMobil Marine fuels to enable customers to meet the International Maritime Organization’s 0.50 percent sulfur requirement.
The project represents the latest and most significant in a series of recent ExxonMobil investments in base stock production. Recent ExxonMobil EHCTM Group II base stock investments include a 2015 expansion in Singapore and the startup of a world-scale, enhanced hydrocracker unit in Rotterdam in 2018.
“The decision to expand our operations in Singapore helps to further establish ExxonMobil as a regional leader in producing innovative products that help customers improve fuel economy and reduce emissions,” said Gan Seow Kee, chairman and managing director of ExxonMobil Asia Pacific Pte Ltd. “This is the latest in a series of major investments in Singapore and builds on our commitment to enhance our growth and competitiveness in the Asia Pacific region.”
Engineering, procurement and construction contracts have been awarded to Técnicas Reunidas for the new process units, and Wood Group for interconnecting pipelines and supporting infrastructure facilities. As part of the project, ExxonMobil is working on a long-term commercial agreement with Linde to upgrade residue from the site to hydrogen and synthesis gas.
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Business Trends: Asia and Europe join the feedstock evolution with steam crackers
From the April 2018 issue of Hydrocarbon Processing