(EnergyAsia, May 31 2013, Friday) — ExxonMobil said it has boosted production of ethylene and other downstream chemicals on Singapore’s Jurong Island with the start-up of its long-delayed second world-scale steam cracker.

Integrated with the existing petrochemical complex and powered by a 375-megawatt cogeneration plant, the new plant will enable the US major to increase production at three polyethylene plants, two polypropylene plants, a specialty metallocene elastomers unit and the expanded oxo-alcohol and aromatics units over the next few weeks.

With the expansion completed last December, ExxonMobil said it has begun producing commercial grades of new products such as specialty metallocene elastomers for the first time in the Asia Pacific region.

“This expansion gives ExxonMobil unparalleled feedstock flexibility in the industry and positions the Singapore petrochemical complex well to serve growth markets from China to the Indian sub-continent and beyond,” said Matthew Aguiar, chairman and managing director, ExxonMobil Asia Pacific Pte Ltd.

“We are committed to meeting the regional demand for petrochemical products and to contributing to Singapore’s growth.”

During more than 83 million hours of project work, the major said it set an industry-leading record in construction safety without an injury involving a lost day of work.

“We successfully completed the commissioning of the steam cracker and we are now focused on ensuring that the plant operates safely and reliably,” said Georges Grosliere, venture executive and manufacturing director of the Singapore Chemical Plant, ExxonMobil Chemical Company.

“The scale and complexity of this expansion project, which doubled the steam-cracking capacity, demanded a strong focus on safety, operational integrity and discipline.”

ExxonMobil has operated in Singapore for 120 years and is one of Singapore’s largest foreign manufacturing investors. The company has expanded refining and petrochemical production in Singapore to meet expected demand for transportation fuels and the chemicals used for plastics and other manufacturing across the Asia Pacific region.