(From the July 23, 2012, issue of Rubber & Plastics News)
IRVING, Texas—ExxonMobilChemical Co. plans to expand the size of a plant complex under construction in Houston to accommodate the relocation of additional staff, and close the onetime Advanced Elastomer Systems site in Akron.
A large number of employees are expected to transfer from operations ExxonMobil will close in two states, while others will relocate to the campus from two offices at the firm's Baytown, Texas, refinery complex outside of Houston.
The company didn't say how many employees will transfer to the Houston site, nor did it release financial details of the action.
The former AES thermoplastic vulcanizates research and development facility, now under the ExxonMobil Chemical banner, employs 110, according to a spokesman.
ExxonMobil markets the thermoplastic elastomers as Santoprene, which was developed by Monsanto Co. and later the AES joint venture between that firm and Exxon Chemical.
The Akron office once was the headquarters of the AES joint venture, and is located in a renovated former B.F. Goodrich building. AES employed 250 at that location when it opened.
ExxonMobil also plans to close the Fairfax, Va., offices of ExxonMobil's Refining and Supply Co.; Research and Engineering Co.; and Fuels, Lubricants & Specialties Marketing Co.
The company did not give an employee breakdown at the Virginia offices.
“Including additional employees on the new campus will provide even more opportunities for collaboration and innovation, supporting ExxonMobil's mission of delivering energy to meet growing global needs,” said Bryan Milton, president of ExxonMobil Global Services Co.
Employees will begin moving to the multiplant campus—located on 385 acres of company-owned land in Houston—beginning in 2014 and continuing through 2015, the spokesman said.
“We do not expect significant staffing level reductions as a direct result of the planned relocations to the new campus,” he said. Full occupancy is expected in 2015.
ExxonMobil had launched construction of the expansion project in 2011. Early site work includes construction of access roads and bridges, central utilities, computer support, and parking facilities, the company said.
The state-of-the-art campus will have multiple low-rise office buildings, laboratory, and conference and training centers, along with child care, a wellness center and other employee amenities, the firm said.
“Co-location of the downstream and additional chemical groups in Houston will enable ExxonMobil to continue to be the world leader in our business, provide an innovative and collaborative work environment, and attract the best talent for the future,” the spokesman said.