SINGAPORE—ExxonMobil Corp. has begun production at a newly constructed halobutyl rubber plant at its integrated manufacturing complex in Singapore, adding butyl capacity of 140,000 metric tons per year. The move supports the manufacturing of fuel-efficient tires and strengthens the firm's position throughout the Asian market.
The butyl produced at the newly expanded facility, Exxon said, can be used to create premium halobutyl rubber, which allows tires to maintain inflation, ultimately improving their fuel economy.
"Keeping tires properly inflated can help save about a billion gallons of fuel and result in an estimated emissions reduction of 8 million tons of carbon dioxide per year, equivalent to the emissions of about 2.5 million cars worldwide," Exxon said in a statement.
In addition to the butyl plant, Exxon has added 90,000 tons of annual capacity for the production of hydrogenated hydrocarbon resin, making the facility the largest of its kind in the world, according to Exxon. It will help the firm meet the demand for hot-melt adhesives, which are used in packaging and diapers.
The investment in the expansions was not disclosed, but Exxon in a news release dubbed it a multi-billion project.
Exxon also said the expansions add 140 jobs. The company already employs more than 4,000 in Singapore, including 2,500 at the manufacturing complex where the newly constructed plants are located.
The investment in the hydrogenated hydrocarbon resin and halobutyl rubber facilities comes on the heels of Exxon's 2017 acquisition of an aromatics production facility in Singapore.
"With these latest additions, we are well-positioned to serve customers in key Asian growth markets," Gan Seow Kee, chairman and managing director of ExxonMobil Asia-Pacific Pte. Ltd., said in a statement. "The expansion helps to further establish Singapore as a key producer of fuels and petrochemical products, particularly products that help our customers improve fuel economy and reduce emissions."
The newly constructed facilities expand ExxonMobil's flexible steam cracking capability in Singapore, and support the company's goals of safe and eco-friendly production.
"We remain committed to safe and environmentally responsible operations as we manufacture products that support better living standards and economic progress for a fast-growing middle class population in Asia-Pacific," John Verity, president of the ExxonMobil Chemical Co., said in a statement.
The Singapore facility provides a range of feedstocks for upgraded specialty products, and includes a new cogeneration unit at the refinery, bringing the total cogeneration capacity of the site to more than 440 megawatts, according to the firm.