State and city-parish officials and ExxonMobil leadership celebrated the startup of the company’s long-awaited polypropylene growth project at its north Baton Rouge plant last week.
The expansion, which broke ground in 2019, expanded ExxonMobil’s Baton Rouge polypropylene production capacity by 450,000 metric tons per year. The project went online last month.
ExxonMobil first announced Baton Rouge was in the running for the roughly $500 million expansion in early 2018 and won approval for its Industrial Tax Exemption Program requests, worth about $31 million over a decade, from state and local taxing authorities later that year.
The company announced its final investment decision in early 2019. While frequent ITEP critic Together Baton Rouge had opposed some of ExxonMobil’s requests, the group applauded the expansion when it was announced and called it an example of “proper ITEP use.”
The city-parish can expect to collect nearly $7 million in property taxes in the first 10 years and $21 million through 2040, as well as an estimated $30 million in sales tax collections.
The expansion will allow the facility to meet growing demand for reusable, durable, lightweight plastics used to create automotive parts as well as consumer products and packaging materials. The expansion created 65 full-time jobs, according to an ExxonMobil release, and generated $20 million in local sales tax revenue during construction. The company touts the project for spending $349 million with local contractors and $210 million with other local businesses.