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Louisiana Governor announces potential Baton Rouge refinery investment

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Hydrocarbon Engineering,

The Governor of Louisiana, John Bel Edwards, has announced potential investment by ExxonMobil totalling more than US$240 million at the company’s Baton Rouge Refinery.

The suite of projects would improve processing capability, increase flexibility for meeting market demand, advance overall site competitiveness, and install technology for a voluntarily 10% reduction of volatile organic compound emissions. The projects are pending final engineering, design and investment decisions. A decision to proceed could come from ExxonMobil in 2021.

The projects would retain 1300 existing jobs at the refinery, and ExxonMobil estimates the projects would support more than 600 construction jobs on-site over three years. The investment also would provide more than 20 full-time job opportunities for graduates of the North Baton Rouge Industrial Training Initiative, a collaborative programme spearheaded by ExxonMobil in 2012 to provide no-cost, fast-tracked industrial craft training for community residents.

“ExxonMobil has operated in Baton Rouge for more than 110 years and has provided high-quality jobs for decades at the integrated refinery and chemical plant complex,” Edwards said. “The 2019 announcement of the company’s decision to progress the Baton Rouge polypropylene project, combined with this potential investment, demonstrates that ExxonMobil has confidence in the future of Louisiana and in our outstanding workforce. Louisiana looks forward to working with ExxonMobil to make this investment happen.”

“We are proud of our long history in Louisiana, and I’m very excited about the positive potential of this investment for ExxonMobil and for the state, especially during this challenging economic time for industry,” said Plant Manager Gloria Moncada of the ExxonMobil Baton Rouge Refinery. “This suite of projects positions our site for future investment at our refinery and chemical plants in Baton Rouge. We look forward to working with Gov. Edwards and our local community stakeholders in partnership as we move toward a final decision.”

To secure the investment, Louisiana Economic Development has offered ExxonMobil the comprehensive workforce solutions of LED FastStart®, ranked the No. 1 state workforce training programme in the US for the past 11 years. The company also is expected to utilise the state’s offer of the Industrial Tax Exemption Program.

The projects would generate approximately US$5 million in sales tax revenue and more than US$40 million in property tax revenue, according to company projections. ExxonMobil would 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,” said East Baton Rouge Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome. “I am encouraged by the news that Baton Rouge is being considered for this project, and call on my fellow elected leaders to support it in becoming a reality.”

“Projects like this one are critical to maintaining the relevance and competitiveness of ExxonMobil’s presence in Baton Rouge,” said President and CEO Adam Knapp of the Baton Rouge Area Chamber. “ExxonMobil is a committed community partner, and we look forward to the impact of continued investment on initiatives like the North Baton Rouge Industrial Training Initiative.”

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