Louisiana is set to benefit from ExxonMobil’s $20 billion investment in the Gulf Coast. Baton Rouge Refinery Manager Mark Northcutt says the Grow the Gulf initiative will strengthen and grow Exxon facilities in the Capitol City. He says Baton Rouge is home to one of the world’s largest refineries, as well as world scale chemical operations.
“Products and byproducts going back and forth between the two facilities makes us more competitive than a standalone refinery or a standalone chemical facility, and part of what we’re doing with the Grow the Gulf initiative is further building off of that position of strength,” Northcutt said.
Northcutt says another facility in Baton Rouge produces aviation lubricants. He says they’ve already invested $200 million into this facility, which created 400 construction jobs during development and 45 new permanent jobs at the facility.
“It’s pulling together the refinery, the chemicals operation, and our lubricants operation to create a world scale aviation lubricants facility here in the Baton Rouge area,” Northcutt said.
Northcutt says they want to grow these Baton Rouge facilities even more. He the increased supply of natural gas in Louisiana is a big advantage for the chemical industry in the Gulf Coast. He says Exxon is looking for site for a new steam cracker facility, and the Bayou State could be a contender, if the state can provide a stable and predictable tax environment.
“It’s really important for the state to plan its business for the long term such that we can also attract these business opportunities and continue to grow the economy here in Louisiana,” Northcutt said.