ExxonMobil Chemical is investing in increased polypropylene (PP) compounding capacity and capability at its Lillebonne Polypropylene Plant (LPP), France. Capacity will increase by 45,000 tons to meet growing demand for Exxtral™ performance polyolefins from automotive original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) primarily in Europe. The expansion is due for completion by year end 2009. The French facility currently manufactures neat, filled and compounded PP such as the new generation compound Exxtral BMU141 that was recently specified for the instrument panel of the new Citroën Berlingo and Peugeot Partner. Exxtral polyolefins were also specified for the door panel, and upper and lower trim of these vehicles.
Exxtral polyolefins have been used primarily for interior and under the hood automotive applications but are increasingly being specified for exterior applications, such as bumper fasciae which also are driving demand. In January 2008, ExxonMobil Chemical announced the start up of a new US$20 mln specialty compounding facility in Baton Rouge, Louisiana with an annual capacity of 40,000 tons. In September 2008, ExxonMobil Chemical announced an agreement with Resin & Pigment Technologies Pte. Ltd., Singapore to manufacture a broad range of ExxonMobil Chemical's specialty compounds, including Exxtral polyolefins, for use in automotive interior and exterior applications.