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ExxonMobil plans full turnaround in 2022 at UK butyl rubber plant

November 30/2020

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The ExxonMobil-operated, 110,000-metric tons/year butyl rubber plant at Fawley in the south of the UK is set for a full-scale turnaround in 2022, according to sources with links to the plant, said Chemweek.

The unit is one of the largest producers in the world of halobutyl rubber, supplying one third of all ExxonMobil's global output, according to IHS Markit. "We are the major European manufacturer of halobutyl rubber, which is used to line tiresthe majority of tires manufactured in Europe contain some Fawley halobutyl rubber," the ExxonMobil website states.

Fawley typically produces 750,000 metric tons/year of chemical products, according to ExxonMobil. Halobutyl rubber and methyl ethyl ketone (MEK) are the main products produced at Fawley's chemical operations. The 135,000-metric tons/year MEK unit went offline in September 2019 for maintenance work.

Fawley's chemical division has helped ExxonMobil to offset a difficult year for the neighboring 270,000-b/d refinery, which sends feedstock to the integrated site's chemical operations. Sources at Fawley say that its chemical plants operated at a combined utilization rate of just over 90% in the first eight months of this yearabove the annual averages seen in the previous two years that were slightly below 90%. By contrast, the refinery operated at just over 60% of capacity over January-August, amid poor oil product demand and dismal refining margins, according to the Fawley sources.

When asked to confirm both the 2022 maintenance work and the utilization rate at the Fawley chemicals units, a spokesperson for ExxonMobil told OPIS, "We never comment on turnarounds before they are underway." Output rates are "commercially confidential," the spokesperson added.

We remind that ExxonMobil has undertaken a planned shutdown at its cracker in Singapore. The company halted operations at the cracker for maintenance on September 14, 2020. The cracker is expected to remain off-line till end-October, 2020. Located at Jurong Island, Singapore, the cracker has an ethylene production capacity of 1 million mt/year and a propylene production capacity of 450,000 mt/year.

Ethylene and propylene are feedstocks for producing polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP).

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 1,496,500 tonnes in the first eight months of 2020, up by 5% year on year. Shipments of all ethylene polymers increased, except for linear low desnity polyethylene (LLDPE). At the same time, PP shipments to the Russian market reached 767,2900 tonnes in the eight months of 2020 (calculated using the formula - production minus exports plus imports - and not counting producers' inventories as of 1 January, 2020). Supply increased exclusively of PP random copolymer.

ExxonMobil is the largest non-government owned company in the energy industry and produces about 3% of the world"s oil and about 2% of the world"s energy.
Author:Anna Larionova
Tags:petroleum products, crude oil, PP, PE, neftegaz, petrochemistry, Exxon Mobil.
Category:General News
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