Gov. John Bel Edwards and ExxonMobil Baton Rouge Refinery Manager David Oldreive announced the company’s final investment decision for more than $240 million in capital improvements at the ExxonMobil Baton Rouge Refinery. The suite of projects will improve processing capability, increase flexibility for meeting market demand, advance overall site competitiveness and install technology for an expected 10 percent reduction of volatile organic compound emissions.
The projects will help retain 1,300 existing jobs at the refinery, and ExxonMobil estimates the upgrades will support more than 600 construction jobs on-site over three years. The investment also will provide more than 20 full-time job opportunities for graduates of the North Baton Rouge Industrial Training Initiative, a collaborative program spearheaded by ExxonMobil in 2012 to provide no-cost, fast-tracked industrial craft training for community residents.
“We are delighted with ExxonMobil’s decision to move forward with this important suite of projects,” Gov. Edwards said. “For more than a century, the ExxonMobil Baton Rouge Refinery has fueled the economy of our state and nation. These latest capital upgrades will continue to position the integrated ExxonMobil refinery and chemical complex here in Baton Rouge as one of the world’s most innovative and competitive energy sites.”
Project construction is expected to begin later this year. According to Dr. Stephen Barnes, director of the Kathleen Babineaux Blanco Public Policy Center at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, direct, indirect and induced jobs resulting from project construction will total 2,030 in Baton Rouge by 2023. Direct property tax revenue is projected to reach $43 million over the life of the project.
“Louisiana and the Baton Rouge community have helped make this suite of projects a reality by offering strong support and the opportunity to collaborate to ensure this investment provides benefit for our citizens and local businesses,” Oldreive said. “Through this investment, we will reduce the facility’s volatile organic compound emissions up to 10 percent while bringing direct value to the community through increased tax revenue and job opportunities for local residents and small and diverse businesses. ExxonMobil has made significant progress to reduce emissions globally and plans further reductions in greenhouse gas emissions by 2025.”
To secure the investment, Louisiana Economic Development provided ExxonMobil with the comprehensive workforce solutions of LED FastStart, ranked the No. 1 state workforce training program in the U.S. for the past 11 years. The company also will utilize the state’s Industrial Tax Exemption Program.
In addition to supporting the North Baton Rouge Industrial Training Initiative, ExxonMobil will focus on providing supplier opportunities specifically to North Baton Rouge businesses.
“ExxonMobil is an economic driver in East Baton Rouge, supporting thousands of residents with quality jobs, strategically partnering with local companies for procurement needs, and injecting millions of dollars into public services,” Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome said. “I am pleased by the news that this investment has been approved, and look forward to seeing the economic return to bolster employment, contribute to our tax base and reinvigorate local businesses.”
After a 1909 groundbreaking in Baton Rouge, the ExxonMobil Refinery has grown to be part of a world-scale, integrated refining and petrochemical complex providing fuels, lubricants and wax products to customers around the world.