ExxonMobil said last Tuesday that it is progressing a multi-billion dollar project at its integrated manufacturing facility in Singapore to produce higher-value products and expand lubricant base stocks production to meet growing demand. This project would be in addition to the expansion that was started at the same location in 2017 and is scheduled to be commissioned in early 2019.
“Our Singapore facility is one of our largest integrated fuels, lubricant base stocks and chemicals production sites in the world. This investment would move it to the top quartile worldwide in terms of refining competitiveness and increases the site’s competitive advantage from crude cracking,” said Bryan Milton, president of ExxonMobil Fuels & Lubricants Company.
Should the project proceed, startup is anticipated in 2023.
ExxonMobil plans to develop and apply proprietary technologies that will convert lower-value byproducts into cleaner, higher-value products, including high-quality light and heavy lubricant base stocks. The advanced technology will also allow ExxonMobil to introduce a new, unique high viscosity 120 cSt Group II base stock with similar characteristics to bright stock.
ExxonMobil said the Singapore refinery expansion project will also result in the production of more clean fuels with lower sulfur content, including high-quality ExxonMobil Marine Fuels that comply with the International Maritime Organization’s 0.5 percent sulfur cap to help customers continue to meet the reduced sulfur limit.
“We’re working to ensure that we can reliably meet long-term customer needs with high-quality base stocks and fuels as demand in the Asia-Pacific region continues to grow,” said Nick Berthiaux, vice president of ExxonMobil Basestocks and Specialties. “By introducing higher-value base stocks in larger volumes, we can meet the needs of an expanded customer base looking to satisfy more stringent industry requirements such as reducing emissions and improving fuel economy.”
The project represents the latest and most significant in a series of recent ExxonMobil investments in base stock production in Singapore. In 2017, ExxonMobil announced it would expand its Singapore refinery to upgrade production of its EHCTM Group II base stocks. Construction began in 2017 and commissioning is expected by early 2019. ExxonMobil also completed an expansion at the refinery in 2015.
“ExxonMobil has operated in Singapore for 125 years, and we continue to expand our business footprint here with strategic investments that will help meet the growing demand for cleaner, high-quality products in the region and the world,” said Gan Seow Kee, chairman and managing director of ExxonMobil Asia Pacific Pte Ltd.
Beyond Singapore, ExxonMobil is nearing completion of its Rotterdam, Netherlands hydrocracker expansion project, which is expected to start up by the end of 2018. The Rotterdam refinery, in addition to the Baytown, Texas refinery, will produce EHC 120, and product availability is expected in 2019. Once the Rotterdam expansion is complete, ExxonMobil said it will be the only global Group I and Group II producer with significant manufacturing assets and global slates of products across three continents.
ExxonMobil said it will continue to produce AP/E CORETM Group I base stocks at its Singapore refinery and remains committed to producing quality Group I base stocks for its customers around the world. ExxonMobil currently has two lube base oil plants in Singapore. It has a 13,000 barrel per day capacity API Group I plant at Pulau Ayer Chawan and its plant on Jurong Island currently has the capacity to produce up to 31,000 barrels per day of API Group II base oils. ExxonMobil did not disclose the extent of the Singapore lube base oil capacity expansion but estimates are that it will be in the area of 6,000 bpd of Group II base oil.