ExxonMobil Investing $1 Billion to Increase Cleaner Diesel Supply

By KBB.com Editors on December 17, 2008 12:23 PM

ExxonMobil Refining & Supply has announced it will pump more than $1 billion in three of its key refineries to increase the supply of cleaner-burning diesel by about six million gallons per day. The company plans to construct new units and modify existing facilities at its Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Baytown, Texas; and Antwerp, Belgium, refineries. Baytown is the largest refinery in the U.S. and can process 567,000 barrels of crude per day while Baton Rouge, ExxonMobil's second-largest American plant, handles 503,000 barrels. The Antwerp refinery is the firm's second largest European facility and presently converts some 305,000 barrels each day.

"Our increase in diesel production at these three sites will be equal to the diesel produced from about four average-size refineries," said Sherman Glass, president, Refining & Supply. Collectively, those increases in capacity will raise the company's output of clean diesel by about 10 percent. And yes, there is more here than mere altruism, as clean diesel also happens to be one of the firm's more profitable refined petroleum products.

This billion-dollar investment represents the latest phase in ExxonMobil's efforts to increase supplies and reduce the sulfur levels in both its gasoline and diesel fuel products. In 2000, the company began an integrated approach to convert and modify refineries, terminals and pipelines around the world to produce ultra-clean fuel products that limits sulfur content to fewer than 15 parts per million. The various refinery upgrades and expansions are expected to be completed by 2010.