American energy giant ExxonMobil will begin a major expansion to make the Beaumont refinery in the U.S. state of Texas the largest in the country.
The U.S.' top oil producing company said in a statement on Tuesday that it reached a final investment decision on a new unit at the Beaumont refinery that will increase crude refining capacity by more than 65 percent, or by 250,000 barrels per day.
The new unit, which will be the third in the facility, will expand refining of light crude oil, as additional crude production from the U.S.' oil-rich Permian Basin will be directed and processed there.
Currently, the facility has a refining capacity of 366,000 barrels per day of crude oil and produces 2.8 billion gallons of gasoline annually, according to ExxonMobil's website.
"With access to terminals, railways, pipelines and waterways nearby, the Beaumont refinery is strategically positioned to benefit from Permian production growth," Bryan Milton, president of ExxonMobil Fuels and Lubricants company, said in the statement.
"The addition of a third crude unit in Beaumont will enhance the refinery’s competitive position and truly establish it as a leader in the U.S. refining industry," he added.
Expected to become operational by 2022, the unit is anticipated to create up to 1,850 jobs during construction and between 40 and 60 permanent jobs once completed.
Around 2,100 employees work in the Beaumont area in petrochemical manufacturing, which includes a refinery, chemical plant, polyethylene plant and lubricant-blending-and-packaging plant.
By Ovunc Kutlu