Exxon Mobil Corp. is forging ahead with a multi-billion-dollar petrochemical complex that’s the cornerstone of its growth strategy in China, even as political tensions push other corporations to reassess their exposure there, reports Bloomberg.
Exxon executives have made multiple trips this year to check progress on the project in Huizhou, China, according to people familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified while discussing internal matters. The facility is the biggest of a dozen or more new projects in the country being developed by companies that will produce ethylene, a plastic feedstock, according to S&P Global. It is designed to allow for expansion beyond its initial build-out, according to six people who worked on the project.
The prize is a major stake in the top growth market for petrochemicals, which supplies the plastics, resins and fibers used by China’s manufacturing industry to make everyday consumer products that end up in homes all over the globe. But diplomatic strain between the US and China—over the Asian country’s friendship with Russia, spying claims, and policy toward Taiwan—has intensified the strategy’s risks.