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U.S. oil supermajor ExxonMobil said on Friday it had reconfigured its chemical plant at Baton Rouge, Louisiana, into a facility to make medical-grade sanitizer which will be donated to COVID-19 response efforts in Louisiana, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania, and Texas.
Exxon has modified the manufacturing equipment at its chemical plant in the Baton Rouge area to produce, blend, package, and distribute sanitizer. The company will be distributing the initial production of 160,000 gallons of medical grade sanitizer – enough to fill nearly 5 million 4-ounce bottles – to medical providers and first responders.
Exxon has boosted its monthly production of the key ingredient in sanitizer- isopropyl alcohol—by around 3,000 tons at its chemical manufacturing facility in Baton Rouge. To produce, package and distribute hand sanitizer, the company has bought additional ingredients and modified equipment in Baton Rouge and at a lubricants plant in nearby Port Allen, Louisiana.
Earlier this month, Exxon said that it had boosted production of critical raw materials for masks, gowns, and hand sanitizer used by medical professionals and first responders.
While it increases production of sanitizer, Exxon is axing capital expenditure for this year by $10 billion in response to the oil demand and oil price collapse. The most significant reductions will take place in the Permian Basin. Exxon’s capital investments for 2020 are now expected to be 30 percent lower, at around $23 billion, down from the previously announced capex of some $33 billion.
As the world now needs more sanitizer than oil, international oil majors are taking part in the fight against the pandemic with donations and with increased production of chemical substances and raw materials for critical components of personal protective equipment (PPE). Royal Dutch Shell, Total, BP, Exxon, Chevron, and Eni are helping with donations, research, and production of PPE.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.