BATON ROUGE — Gov. John Bel Edwards announced potential investment by ExxonMobil totaling more than $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 percent 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 1,300 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 program 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,” Gov. 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 program in the U.S. for the past 11 years. The company also is expected to utilize the state’s offer of the Industrial Tax Exemption Program.
The projects would generate approximately $5 million in sales tax revenue and more than $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.”
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. In November 2019, ExxonMobil broke ground for its more than $500 million polypropylene project that will create 65 new jobs, result in 219 new indirect jobs, generate 600 construction jobs and double the capacity at the Baton Rouge Polyolefins Plant.