Baton Rouge: Governor Bobby Jindal and Exxon Mobil Corporation announced the company will expand its existing Baton Rouge Chemical Plant and Port Allen Lubricants Plant to increase capacity for synthetic lubricant base stocks manufacturing and lubricants blending, packaging and storage. 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 expansion will create 45 direct jobs, with an average annual salary of $66,200, plus benefits. LED 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.
Gov. Jindal said, "We're proud that ExxonMobil chose to expand right here in our state because of our world-class energy infrastructure, strong business climate, and incomparable workforce. This announcement shows our strong commitment to retaining and growing existing Louisiana businesses."
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 Louisianians and their families who are impacted by the company's business.
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.
"The new aviation lubricants blending center reflects our continuing commitment to a safe and reliable supply of aviation and other lubricant products," said Julius Bedford, manager of ExxonMobil's lubricant blending plant in Port Allen.
"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™ – the No. 1-rated state workforce training program in the nation. In addition, ExxonMobil is expected to utilize Louisiana's Enterprise Zone and Industrial Tax Exemption incentive programs.
"I am excited about the expansion," said Parish President Riley Berthelot of West Baton Rouge Parish. "We're glad to see our plants in West Baton Rouge continue to grow, and it's always exciting news when we see that take place."
Construction for the project will begin in late 2012, and hiring of the 45 new positions will take place in conjunction with project completion in 2014. The new jobs will join an existing annual payroll of $440 million supported by ExxonMobil in the Capital Region.
"BRAC has been proud to work with ExxonMobil on this new long-term investment in the Baton Rouge area," BRAC President and CEO Adam Knapp said. "ExxonMobil is a great corporate citizen and continues to be an economic asset, over 100 years after first coming to our region. We congratulate their employees and management on their commitment to job growth and new investment in the Capital Region."