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ExxonMobil to close Australian refinery

February 11/2021

MOSCOW (MRC) -- ExxonMobil Corp said it will close its 72-year-old Altona refinery in Australia, the countrys smallest, and convert it to a fuel import terminal as refiners struggle with low demand, reported Reuters.

The decision by the US oil major will leave Australia with only two refineries, after BP Plc decided to shut its Kwinana facility by April. Ampol Ltd is still reviewing the future of its Lytton refinery.

ExxonMobils decision to close its Altona refinery in Victoria is extremely disappointing, said Angus Taylor, the Australian minister for energy and emissions reduction, in a statement.

Global lockdowns and curbs on international travel due to the coronavirus pandemic has cut demand, leaving refiners grappling with losses. Exxon said it took the decision because it was no longer economically viable to continue the refinery.

Australia had offered a AD2.3 billion (USD1.8 billion) fuel security package to tide over the financial hit facing refineries. Only Viva Energy, operator of what will be Australias largest remaining refinery as of April, accepted.

Taylor said the closure of Exxons refinery would not negatively impact Australian fuel stockholdings. The Altona plant employs around 300 people.

As MRC informed earlier, last year, Exxon Mobil Corp announced it will lay off about 1,900 employees in the United States as the COVID-19 pandemic batters energy demand and prices.

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 was 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 2,220,640 tonnes in 2020, up by 2% year on year. Only shipments of low density polyethylene (LDPE) and high density polyethylene (HDPE) increased. At the same time, polypropylene (PP) shipments to the Russian market reached 1 240,000 tonnes in 2020 (calculated using the formula: production, minus exports, plus imports, excluding producers' inventories as of 1 January, 2020).

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:Margaret Volkova
Tags:PP, PE, crude and gaz condensate, propylene, LDPE, HDPE, ethylene, petrochemistry, BP Plc, Exxon Mobil, Australia, Russia, Singapore, USA.
Category:General News
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