Exxon Mobil to buy a refining and petrochemical plant in Singapore for reported $1.7 bn

US energy giant ExxonMobil Corp today struck a deal to buy a refining and petrochemical plant in Singapore from Jurong Aromatics (JAC) in order to boost its fuel and chemical production in Asia.

Exxon Mobil did not reveal the purchase price, but The Korea Herald reported in March that the Texas-based company had outbid Lotte Chemical Corp with a $1.7-billion bid.

The plant will be integrated with Exxon Mobil's existing petroleum complex on Jurong Island, said Gan Seow Kee, chairman and managing director of ExxonMobil Asia Pacific Pte Ltd.

In April, Exxon Mobil had said, "We can confirm that we are currently negotiating with the receiver for Jurong Aromatics Corporation Pte Ltd to acquire JAC's assets on Jurong Island.''

JAC went into receivership in September 2015, and restructuring, insolvency, and forensic accounting services firm Borelli Walsh had been appointed the receivers and managers of JAC by lender BNP Paribas.

JAC's facilities include a 100,000-barrel per day condensate splitter and petrochemical units, which produce paraxylene, a raw material for textiles and plastic bottles.

Built at a cost of around $2.4 billion, JAC's integrated refining-petrochemical complex at Jurong Island is one of the world's largest petrochemical plants.

Facing mounting, the plant operations ground to a halt in December in 2014 amid slowing demand, and weakness in prices of oil and related chemical products.

JAC, which is owned by a group comprising of South Korean conglomerate SK Group, Chinese polyester maker Jiangsu Sanfangxiang Group, Glencore and the Economic Development Board and others, had $1.53 billion in liabilities and $68.7 million of accumulated losses at the end of 2013.

Suppliers, British oil giant BP, Glencore and SK Energy had secured claims against the company, while BNP Paribas led a $1.73-billion loan facility in 2011 that was not repaid.

The plant was restarted in July last year under tolling agreements with BP and Glencore.