ExxonMobil Unveils Plans for Another Beaumont Expansion Project

ExxonMobil Corp. plans to add 40,000 barrels per day (bpd) of ultra-low sulfur fuels production capacity at its Beaumont, Texas, refinery, the company announced Tuesday.

"ExxonMobil continues to strengthen its portfolio of world-class refining assets," Steve Cope, ExxonMobil's director of North American refining, said in a press release. "This investment further enhances the competitiveness of our U.S. Gulf Coast refineries."

Construction to install a selective cat naphtha hydrofining unit should begin during the second half of this year, according to ExxonMobil. The unit will use a proprietary catalyst system to remove sulfur while minimizing octane loss, and gasoline produced with the "SCANfining" technology will meet the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Tier 3 gasoline sulfur specifications, the company added. ExxonMobil also said that it expects unit startup to begin in 2018.

"This specialized unit will improve our product yield, and demonstrates our technology advantage and focus on increasing energy efficiency," said Fernando Salazar, manager of the Beaumont refinery. "This project represents the largest capital investment in our Beaumont refinery operations in more than a decade, and will benefit the local economy with both temporary and full-time jobs."

Plans to install the selective cat naphtha hydrofining unit mark the second capacity expansion that ExxonMobil has announced for the 345,000-bpd Beaumont refinery in the past year. The company is also adding 20,000 bpd of crude processing capacity at the facility.