ExxonMobil holds virtual foundation-laying ceremony as it expands presence in Singapore with investment and new tech

ExxonMobil Asia Pacific chairman and managing director Gan Seow Kee during the virtual foundation-laying ceremony. PHOTO: EXXONMOBIL

SINGAPORE - ExxonMobil held a virtual foundation laying ceremony on Tuesday (March 31) for its multi-billion-dollar expansion of its Jurong Island refining and petrochemical complex to increase its production capacity for higher-value products and cleaner fuels.

This investment, which the international energy company announced in April last year, will create 135 new jobs.

It will also have significant spin-offs to the rest of the economy in areas such as logistics, process construction and maintenance, said Senior Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security Teo Chee Hean, who participated in the ceremony.

In lieu of a physical foundation laying ceremony, ExxonMobil held a video conference from two locations in Singapore and one in Dallas.

New catalyst and process technologies will be deployed at the Chemical and Refining Integrated Singapore Project to convert fuel oil and other bottom-of-the-barrel crude products into higher-value lubricant base stocks and distillates.

The expansion will increase production capacity of cleaner fuels with lower-sulphur content by 48,000 barrels per day, and 20,000 barrels per day of lubricant base stocks.

It can also optimise overall energy use and limit emissions at the facility. Waste heat will be recovered and used to generate steam to reduce electricity and fuel consumption.

Mr Teo said: "Amidst a challenging outlook in the global economy and energy industry, this is a clear indication of ExxonMobil's continued commitment to and confidence in Singapore, as its choice partner and manufacturing hub for the region.

"This investment will also provide a new boost to Singapore's energy and chemicals sector, which has been an important and longstanding pillar of the Singapore economy."

He noted that the sector employs 25,000 workers and contributed 2.3 per cent of last year's gross domestic product and 10.8 per cent of manufacturing.

Mr Gan Seow Kee, chairman and managing director of ExxonMobil Asia Pacific, said: "ExxonMobil is building on our base in Singapore by deploying new technology and developing new products to support growing demand. We are committed to managing our operations with a focus on energy efficiency and doing our part to reduce the risk of climate change."

The Singapore refining and petrochemical complex is ExxonMobil's largest integrated manufacturing facility in the world, with a crude oil distillation capacity of 592,000 barrels per day and ethylene capacity of 1.9 million tonnes per year.

ExxonMobil is also one of Singapore's largest foreign investors with over $25 billion in fixed asset investments.

The firm is in discussions with the Government on potential decarbonisation pathways, including opportunities to pilot novel carbon capture technologies here.

Mr Teo said: "The Government remains committed to working with our energy and chemicals sector to remain competitive in the long term. We will continue to invest in research and development and work with our companies to adopt advanced manufacturing technologies, so as to improve their productivity, build new capabilities, and accelerate innovation.

"We will help our workers to safeguard their livelihoods and continuously upgrade their skills. We will also work with all our companies to keep them at the forefront of the global move towards environmentally sustainable production."

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