Oil and gas giant ExxonMobil announced last week that it will invest more than $200 million to expand its Baton Rouge chemical and lubricants plants, which will mean increased capacity for synthetic lubricant base stocks manufacturing and lubricants blending, packaging and storage.
According to Exxon, the expansion will boost the company’s worldwide capacity of synthetic esters and alkylated naphthalene by more than 25%, making Exxon’s Baton Rouge chemical plant the world’s largest producer of these two products, the company claims.
These plans include the construction of a “state-of-the-art” blending center for synthetic aviation oil at Exxon’s Port Allen, La., lubricant blending plant.
The firm expects to begin work on the project later in 2012. Exxon says the expansion will create more than 400 construction jobs, along with 45 full time jobs when the expansion is completed in 2014.
“Over the past three years, the corporation’s capital expenditures in the state exceeded $930 million. These investments help create jobs and contribute to the economic growth of the state and the region,” says Paul Stratford, manager of the Baton Rouge chemical plant.
Upon completion in Baton Rouge, ExxonMobil also plans to halt production at its manufacturing facility in Edison, N.J., making the expansion a replacement for the older facility.
Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal released a statement on Exxon’s announcement, indicating that the state has been working together with ExxonMobil on this expansion project since 2009, and that the state will be providing a Modernization Tax Credit, worth $1.8 million, payable over five years.
Jindal’s statement further noted that the project represents “the culmination of nearly $1 billion in Louisiana capital investments by ExxonMobil over the past three years.”