BEAUMONT, Texas — The Beaumont Refinery Expansion Project at the ExxonMobil facility will increase diesel production, allowing for economic growth in Southeast Texas
The Beaumont Light Atmospheric Distillation Expansion (BLADE) will consist of adding a third crude unit within the existing factory, which will help bring greater supplies of transportation fuels to the market, according to a news release from ExxonMobil.
Construction of the project began in 2019 and production startup is anticipated during the first quarter of 2023.
During the second quarter of 2022, the refinery achieved a high utilization rate of 383,000 barrels per day.
The expansion will increase the facility's light crude refining capacity by more than 65%, or 250,000 barrels per day, according to the release.
Beaumont refinery manager Rozena Dendy says this will help balance the scales and help decrease the price of diesel at the pump.
She stresses that even if your vehicle doesn't run on diesel, many things Southeast Texans depend on do.
"Going to the grocery store, 18 wheelers, those deliveries that you're getting of your Amazon, those all run on diesel. So, it's very important that as we're supplying this diesel in the marketplace, that we're part of the solution, and that we're helping with the supply imbalance," she said.
This expansion will increase ExxonMobil's U.S. Gulf Coast refining capacity by about 17%.
"This is the largest U.S. refining expansion in almost a decade. And it makes us incredibly proud that it's right here in Southeast Texas," Dendy said.
The expansion takes advantage of existing units and utilities supported by crude production in the Permian Basin.
Each refinery has three operations, separation technology, reforming or cracking technology and treatment facilities.
During peak construction, ExxonMobil hired nearly 1,600 contractors, including roles in field construction and diesel dock fabrication, according to the release.
Once it becomes operational, it will provide 40 to 60 permanent jobs.
"It's pretty exciting because it's happening right here in Beaumont, Texas and our workforce couldn't be more proud to be a part of the solution," she said.
The project is located in a location with ready access to the region's terminals, railways, pipelines and waterways.