Exxon eyes investing more than $240 million in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, refinery -Governor

FILE PHOTO: Storage tanks are seen inside the Exxon Mobil Baton Rouge Refinery in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, November 6, 2015. REUTERS/Lee Celano

HOUSTON (Reuters) -Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards said Exxon Mobil Corp is considering investing more than $240 million in its 517,700-barrel-per-day (bpd) Baton Rouge, Louisiana, refinery.

Exxon is contemplating several projects to increase flexibility in crude oils the refinery can process and to reduce pollution at the refinery, Edwards said in a statement released on Wednesday.

Exxon spokesman Jeremy Eikenberry said, “the projects under evaluation would enable the processing of domestic crudes and help reduce emissions.”

Exxon plans to make an investment decision about the projects in 2021, Edwards said.

Exxon is carrying out a multibillion-dollar expansion of its Beaumont, Texas, refinery to run crude oil coming from the Permian Basin in Texas. Before the decision to begin the addition of an another crude distillation unit, Exxon invested in a smaller project to test its feasibility.

“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.

The projects, if carried out, would add 600 construction jobs and provide an additional $5 million in sale tax and $40 million property tax revenue, Edwards said.

In November 2019, Exxon broke ground on a $500-million polypropylene project at the Baton Rouge Polyolefins Plant, which adjoins the refinery.

Reporting by Erwin Seba; editing by Jonathan Oatis and David Gregorio