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ExxonMobil’s Baytown cracker to start up end-2017, ramp up to full rates next year

HOUSTON, April 28, 2017 (PCW) – ExxonMobil said Friday that its 3.3 billion lbs/yr ethylene unit in Baytown will start up by year’s end with full production capacity rates achieved next year.

“The construction has been going extremely well,” said Exxon’s CEO Jeff Woodbury. “We expect that we'd be starting up the full facility by the end of the year into the next part of the year, so there will be some time to ramp up thereafter.”

The company had previously given a 2H 2017 time frame for both start-up and commercial production of the ethylene unit.

Two new polyethylene units at Mont Belvieu are expected to start up sometime in 3Q (total capacity 2.97 bilion lbs/yr) ahead of the cracker.

Exxon reported 1Q net income of $4.01 billion, up from $1.81 billion in the year-ago period in improved commodity prices and lower operating costs. The chemicals segment saw earnings of $1.2 billion, $184 million lower than 1Q 2016 due to weaker margins, increased turnaround expenses and unfavorable currency exchange rates. US chemical earnings came in at $529 million, down $52 million from 1Q 2016. -- Samantha Hartke

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