North America Refining News
Motiva Port Arthur Expansion Marks City's 'Rebirth' - Mayor
by Colin Guy The Beaumont Enterprise, Texas
December 11, 2007
A Motiva Enterprise refinery expansion that will make it the nation's largest facility of its kind also will inject billions into the local economy and hopefully bring down pump prices, officials said at a groundbreaking ceremony Monday.
Once completed in 2010, the $7 billion project will increase the refinery's daily capacity by 325,000 barrels to 600,000 barrels.
William Welte, Motiva president and CEO, noted the expansion alone would qualify as the nation's 10th largest refinery.
Port Arthur City Manager Steve Fitzgibbons estimated the expansion would inject $17 billion into the local economy over the next 20 years.
Port Arthur Mayor Deloris "Bobbie" Prince said, "We're witnessing the rebirth of our city. This expansion is opening up doors of hope and great expectations that we never dreamed of."
Other event speakers said the landmark project is also a nationwide asset.
"We live in a period in which the oil supply is perilously close to demand," U.S. Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman said, adding this results in higher gas prices.
Demand is expected to increase 55 percent worldwide by 2030 and by 23 percent in the United States, he said. Projects like Motiva's expansion will help meet those future needs.
"What we're recognizing today is this is not just an investment in a single refinery, but an investment in the future prosperity of the United States," Bodman said.
U.S. Rep. Ted Poe, R-Humble, noted it has been 30 years since a new refinery has been built in the United States and he vowed to do what he can as a congressman to streamline the permitting process for refinery construction.
"Nobody wants pollution, but the federal government has a responsibility to see that the permitting process makes sense and happens faster," he said.
New facilities included in the expansion include a power station, crude unit, hydrocracker, cat reformer, sulfur block, small hydroreactor and a consolidated control unit.
Construction crews will drive 52,000 pilings, lay out 280,000 cubic yards of cement and 570 miles of pipe and install over 2,272 miles of electrical wire and cable. An estimated 59,000 tons of steel will be used.
This work will require 4,500 to more than 6,000 contractors during peak construction and at least 10,000 different workers with various skill sets are expected to pass through the facility over the course of the project. Once complete, 300 permanent positions are expected to be added to the refinery's 950-person work force.
Rick Strauss, a Motiva integration manager, said the company is committed to working with as many local contractors and minority-owned and women-owned companies as possible.
"This is a great event because, you see, Texas is still the energy capital of the world and Southeast Texas is the energy capital of Texas," Poe said. "It's only appropriate that Texas would have the largest refinery in the U.S. and it's right here in Southeast Texas."
Copyright (c) 2007, The Beaumont Enterprise, Texas. Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.