A rising demand for plastics and energy in developing countries will increase global carbon emissions until about 2030, an ExxonMobil executive said yesterday at National Association of Manufacturing luncheon.
As reported by FuelFix, ExxonMobil Chemical president Neil Chapman projects the demand for plastics and other chemicals will increase more than 4 percent a year, double the demand growth for energy. China and India’s growing middle class is largely driving this growth, he said.
This comes as emissions continue to decline in the US.
Exxon is investing billions of dollars to increase the production of ethylene and polyethylene at two of its Texas plastic plants: Baytown and Mont Belvieu. In a joint venture with the Saudi Arabia Basic Industries Corp. (SABIC), Exxon is also considering building a new chemical plant in southeastern Texas or Louisiana.
In an economic report published this week, the National Association of Manufacturing said manufacturing construction spending has risen 28.2 percent over the past 24 months, boosted by growing investment in the chemical sector, which continues to benefit from cheap natural gas.
At the luncheon, Chapman said a decade ago the US was the most expensive place in the world to produce chemicals. The shale drilling boom changed that.
At the same time, demand for bioplastics and biochemicals is on the rise. Last month Microsoft founder Bill Gates and global energy giant Total invested $14 million to help commercialize a technology by Renmatix that may produce cheaper bioplastics and biofuels.