Exxon investing $2 billion in Baytown, Texas, chemical plant expansion

A logo of the Exxon Mobil Corp is seen at the Rio Oil and Gas Expo and Conference in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil September 24, 2018. REUTERS/Sergio Moraes

HOUSTON (Reuters) - Exxon Mobil Corp plans to invest an additional $2 billion in a three-year expansion project at its Baytown, Texas, chemical complex, the company said on Thursday.

Exxon will add a plant producing 400,000 tons of polymers a year and an olefins plant that will produce 350,000 tons of feedstocks for polyethylene, waxes and lubricating oils at Baytown by 2022.

“Our Baytown chemical expansion will put us in a solid position to maximize the value of increased Permian Basin production and will deliver higher-demand, higher-value products produced at our Gulf Coast refining and chemical facilities,” said Darren Woods, Exxon chairman and chief executive officer.

The company expects 2,000 jobs will be created during the construction at the Baytown petrochemical complex, which includes the nation’s third-largest crude oil refinery.

It is another step in Exxon’s pivot to take advantage of light sweet crude being produced in the Permian Basin of Texas.

Exxon is also expanding its 365,644-barrel-per-day Beaumont, Texas, refinery with the addition of a 250,000-bpd crude distillation unit to process crude from the Permian.

The Baytown chemical plant expansion is in addition to Exxon’s $20 billion Growing the Gulf Initiative, which Woods announced in 2017.

Reporting by Erwin Seba; Editing by Peter Cooney