Exxon expands China facility

Buoyant on growth prospects, the US major will double capacity at its Taicang plant.

The upgraded facility will be one of ExxonMobil's largest finished lubricants plants globally and, by some estimates, could produce up to 300,000 metric tons of lubricants per year.

The new plant will manufacture finished products for the industrial, automotive and marine segments and is likely to use Group I and II base oil stocks.

Exxon sees China's energy, fuel and lubes consumption continuing to increase through to 2040 as a growing middle class swells its vehicle fleet. Years of double digit expansion could see China's total passenger car fleet reach 400m before the end of 2040.

While demand for lubricants has not grown at the rate some may have hoped, China's transition to becoming a more service led economy with a larger vehicle fleet still represents a massive opportunity for lubes producers.