Report March 16, 2021
Report March 16, 2021
ExxonMobil is among the largest chemical producers in the world with annual sales of over 25 million tonnes. We are the number one or two producer for more than 80 percent of our chemical product portfolio,19 achieved through operational excellence, cost discipline, a balanced product portfolio, proprietary technology, and industry-leading integration with our Downstream and Upstream operations.
Worldwide demand for chemicals is expected to rise by approximately 40 percent by 2030,20 underpinned by global population growth, an expanding middle class, and improved living standards. These factors, together with a recognition of the lower greenhouse gas emissions from plastics versus alternatives, correspond to an increase in demand for everyday products.21 We are investing in new capacity to meet that demand.
Superior performance products
Basic chemicals are the building blocks for many of the products essential to modern life. Olefins are the feed to produce polyethylene, polypropylene, and other polymers. Aromatics and glycols are vital for a wide range of consumer and industrial products, including polyester resins, fibers for clothing, and insulation.
Integration, advanced optimization tools, and flexible processes enable us to respond to dynamic market conditions, rapidly transitioning our chemical operations across an unparalleled range of feedstocks, from light gases to crude oil. This capability, in addition to reliable operations, helped us achieve an olefins production record in 2020, providing advantaged, secure feedstock for our performance and commodity products.
Our performance products are used in a wide range of consumer applications, including food packaging, vehicles, and diapers. They enable tougher and lighter products that use less material, save energy, and reduce cost and waste. The enhanced properties of our performance products, and the significant value they bring to customers and end-users, differentiate them from commodity products. Leveraging our technology leadership and extensive customer collaboration, performance product sales grew by nearly 5 percent in 2020, despite lower global GDP.
Plastics provide sustainability benefits and play an important role in helping society mitigate greenhouse gas emissions. We are investing in advantaged technology to recycle plastic waste at our integrated sites. We are also a founding member of the Alliance to End Plastic Waste, an organization focused on developing safe, scalable, and economically viable solutions to help end plastic waste in the environment.
Integrated pandemic response
At the onset of the pandemic, the need for hand sanitizer, medical gowns, and masks was an essential societal challenge. We responded by re-optimizing units that typically produce gasoline, to increase production of the key feedstock for our chemical plants, critical to the manufacturing of these finished products.
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See page 126 of the 2020 Annual Report for footnotes.