Exxon Mobil is considering an investment of $240 million on Baton Rouge Refinery in Louisiana, the state governor Bel Edwards said.
Baton Rouge Refinery is the fifth largest oil refinery in the United States and the thirteenth in the world. It has a production capacity of over 517,000 barrels per day. It has been on production since Standard Oil erected it in 1909.
According to the state governor, Exxon is looking for increasing the flexibility in crude oil the refinery would process, and to reduce the pollution of the refinery itself. It won’t be rare, as the company has announced specific emissions reduction efforts for 2025.
Jeremy Eikenberry, Exxon’s spokesperson, said: “the project is under evaluation; it would enable the processing of domestic crudes and help reduce emissions.”
Just earlier this week, ExxonMobil announced a greenhouse gas emission reduction plan that contemplates a reduction of 15-20% on its upstream businesses; 40-50% reduction on methane emissions and 35-45% reduction in flaring.
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Exxon, key for Louisiana’s economy
As we reported previously, this announcement aligns with the new plan by the Environmental Partnership for reducing flaring as a practice un upstream. As for Exxon, one of the first companies that entered the partnership, these efforts are added to the Paris Accord goals.
On the other hand, the decision for investment on Baton Rouge would come in 2021, when the company’s capital for exploration and high-quality assets would be available. Since 1909 the company has maintained development and investment in the refinery, one of its oldest assets.
Also, the company is carrying out a billionaire expansion on Beaumont, Texas, Refinery to run crude from the Permian Basin. “This suite of projects positions our site for future investment at our refinery and chemical plants in Baton Rouge,” said Plant Manager Gloria Moncada in a statement, quoted by Reuters.
The project in Baton Rouge would add 600 construction jobs and would provide $5 million in sale tax to the state of Louisiana, and over $40 million in property tax revenue, state’s governor Edwards calculated.
The company is the largest manufacturer employer in Louisiana, and a vast tax payer for the state. “We have reinvested $1 billion locally over past three years in operational improvements. Additionally, we were the largest property and use/sales tax payer in East Baton Rouge in 2019 – paying $40 million in property taxes,” Exxon said in a statement.