ExxonMobil announced today the completion of a new production unit to manufacture finished IsoparTM chemical products at the Fawley refining and petrochemical complex, the largest in the UK.
The investment streamlines ExxonMobil’s production of finished Isopar products, which are widely used in inks, air fresheners, paints and water treatment. Previously, Isopar production was initiated at Fawley and exported to the company’s Antwerp refinery for completion. The new product line also enables Fawley to produce different grades of Isopar concurrently rather than in batches, enhancing the site’s ability to reliably meet customer needs.
“The launch of the Isopar product line further reinforces ExxonMobil’s commitment to our highly integrated activities at Fawley, where the refinery supplies nearly all the feedstock for our chemical products,” Richard Henderson, Fawley chemicals manager, said at a ceremony to mark the occasion. “About three quarters of Isopar production at Fawley is currently exported to meet growing customer needs.”
The first shipment of finished Isopar was exported in January.
“Our investment in Isopar production at Fawley will help us to better serve our customers in the Europe and Asia markets,” said Matthew Aguiar, senior vice president of Basic Chemicals, Intermediates and Synthetics for ExxonMobil Chemical Company. Aguiar noted that in addition to strengthening chemical production at Fawley, the new product line has also released capacity at the company’s Antwerp complex for production of other products.
Fawley’s world-scale chemical plant has a current production capacity of about 800,000 tons per year of specialised chemical products. Of that total, about 680,000 tons are exported.
The expansion project represents the latest in a series of recently announced ExxonMobil investments in chemical and refinery production, including projects in the U.S. Gulf Coast region.