When looking back on his tenure as chairman of ExxonMobil (China) Investment Co Ltd. since 2017, Fernando Vallina may feel that ExxonMobil Huizhou Ethylene Project is among his most fruitful projects.
One of the few petrochemical complexes in China wholly owned by a foreign investor, the U.S. oil and gas tycoon invested over 17.55 billion USD of fixed assets in the project and a paid-in investment of 1.42 billion USD by the end of 2022.
Yesterday (February 15), ExxonMobil announced the installation of critical production equipment for the Huizhou Project and a new R&D centre.
"Our model is to build the first complex, keep adding phases, and keep investing for many years. And that's what we want to do here in Guangdong province." Vallina expressed his confidence that ExxonMobil Huizhou Ethylene Project will help Guangdong build a first-level green petrochemical industry cluster, injecting impetus to the province's high-quality development, especially in the chemical manufacturing industry.
Create dozens of high-level R&D jobs in Huizhou
This time, Fernando Vallina's visit to Guangdong was for the ground-breaking first-class R&D centre named Dayawan Technology Center (DTC).
As ExxonMobil's 5th R&D centre globally, the DTC will be the first comprehensive research and development centre outside ExxonMobil's North American headquarters. It will be equipped with pilot plants, and integrate product R&D and process development.
Scheduled to finish construction in 2024 and start operation in 2025, the DTC is expected to promote the formation of a technological innovation system that profoundly integrates industry, education, research and application, and enhances enterprises' local technological innovation capabilities. It may have a beneficial impact on enhancing the region's R&D capacity.
Vallina indicated that the DTC would create high-level R&D jobs, helping introduce more chemical R&D talent to Guangdong and boosting international technology exchanges and cooperation.
"Best place for our first solely-funded project in China"
In Vallina's opinion, Guangdong has a very business-friendly environment. The Dayawan Petrochemical Industrial Park, where ExxonMobil Huizhou Ethylene Project is located, is consistently voted one of the best parks in China. "So we always thought it was the best place for our first solely-funded project in China," Vallina told GDToday.
Vallina indicated that Guangdong government is very experienced, and thanks to its help, the construction of the Dayawan plant is now underway smoothly. He explained further that the local governments helped resolve essential issues such as land use approval and project permits. Foreign employees’ visas, logistics and transportation of materials could be well guaranteed and meet the demands for the construction on time.
According to a recent ExxonMobil statement, the Huizhou plant includes a flexible feed steam cracker, three performance polyethylene lines, and two differentiated performance polypropylene lines. It will produce performance polymers used in packaging, automotive, agricultural, and consumer products for hygiene and personal care.
When talking about ExxonMobil's plan in Guangdong, Vallina revealed that his company had signed an agreement with Guangdong government about new cooperation on carbon capture, utilization, and storage in Huizhou Dayawan petrochemical industrial park.
Reporters: Hu Nan, Ma Fazhou (from Nanfang Daily)
Video: Wang Changhui (from Nanfang Daily), Xu Xiaoxin
Editors: Zhao Yang, Wing, Olivia, James