A significant milestone in the development of ExxonMobil’s (XOM) largest integrated chemical and refining complex was reached with the arrival of seven world-scale furnace modules at the Singapore facility.
Each furnace module is about 15 stories (50 meters) tall and weighs over 2,000 tons, the equivalent of the combined take-off weight of five Boeing 747 airplanes. Employing ExxonMobil’s state-of-the-art, proprietary furnace technology, the furnaces are part of a feed-flexible steam cracker that will have an ethylene production capacity of one million tons per year.
“The safe completion and movement of these furnaces illustrate the scale of this petrochemical project,” said Georges Grosliere, venture executive, ExxonMobil Chemical Company. “This large and complex project requires an extraordinary level of coordination of its numerous components.”
Engineering work for the furnace modules took 19 months and was carried out in France and Japan and completed in late 2008. Since the project was approved, work on ExxonMobil's second Singapore petrochemical complex has involved the effort of employees and contractors from 30 countries, spanning six continents.
A special, multi-functional heavy transport vessel, the RollDock Sun, was selected to ship the furnace modules from Thailand to Singapore.
“The arrival of these furnaces is a significant milestone for ExxonMobil’s second petrochemical project in Singapore,” said Kwa Chong Seng, chairman and managing director of ExxonMobil Asia Pacific Pte Ltd. “When completed, the integrated manufacturing site here will be well placed to serve the growing markets in the Asia Pacific region.”
ExxonMobil’s second petrochemical project in Singapore includes a world-scale steam cracker and associated derivative units - including new polyethylene, polypropylene and specialty elastomers plants, an aromatics extraction unit, and oxo alcohol expansion. The anticipated mechanical completion and start-up activities for the new facilities will be phased in beginning in late 2010 through 2011.