To increase capacity for synthetic lubricant base stocks manufacturing and lubricants blending, packaging and storage, Exxon Mobil Corp. (IW 50/7) announced on Thursday that it will expand its existing Baton Rouge chemical plant and Port Allen lubricants plant.
The expansion will include a $215 million capital investment to expand operations, revive and modernize equipment and construct a state-of-the-art blending center for synthetic aviation oil in Port Allen, La, the company said.
The expansion will create 45 direct jobs.
The Louisiana Economic Development organization estimates the manufacturing project also will result in 389 new indirect jobs in the Capital Region, while retaining 2,607 existing jobs associated with the ExxonMobil chemical plant and lubricants plant operations in the region.
ExxonMobil operations provide jobs for 5,500 direct employees and contractors at eight area facilities, making the company the largest private employer in East Baton Rouge Parish and the largest manufacturing employer in Louisiana. Additionally, each ExxonMobil job supports nearly seven additional jobs in the state – translating to more than 41,500 jobs.
The project represents the culmination of nearly $1 billion in Louisiana capital investments by ExxonMobil over the past three years. The $215 million allocated for the new synthetic lubricants project will be invested in the chemical plant in Baton Rouge and in a new manufacturing, packaging and distribution process unit in Port Allen, where the ExxonMobil Lubricants plant makes more than 145 lubricant products.
ExxonMobil's Baton Rouge operations make up one of the largest and most integrated petrochemical hubs in the world. Local operations include the Baton Rouge refinery, chemical plant, plastics plant, resins plant, polyolefins plant and Port AllenlLubricants plant. Together, these facilities produce more than 3.6 billion gallons of gasoline and billions of pounds of petrochemical products annually.
"ExxonMobil continues to invest in its operations in Louisiana," said Paul Stratford, manager of the Baton Rouge Chemical plant. "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."
To secure the project, the state began working with ExxonMobil on potential expansion opportunities in 2009. The state will provide a Modernization Tax Credit valued at $1.8 million and payable over five years, along with the customized workforce solutions of LED FastStart.
In addition, ExxonMobil is expected to utilize Louisiana's Enterprise Zone and Industrial Tax Exemption incentive programs.