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ExxonMobil is considering investing up to $334 million at its Baton Rouge Chemical plant just north of downtown on Scenic Highway.

ExxonMobil is considering investing up to $334 million at its Baton Rouge Chemical plant just north of downtown and is seeking economic incentives for the project.

The plan is for both expansion and ongoing maintenance of unspecified units, according to an advance economic incentives filing with the Louisiana Economic Development department.

The company estimates the work could be completed in 2023. Roughly 750 construction jobs are expected to be supported over a two-year period on various improvements. At least five new permanent jobs would be created at the chemical plant, which is the minimum requirement for state program incentives, but exact job creation is unknown, according to the company. The plant already has 3,722 workers.

"We continue to invest in our chemical facilities, which have helped to supply health and cleaning related products around the world during the COVID-19 response effort," said Stephanie Cargile, spokesperson for ExxonMobil Baton Rouge. "Potential projects during the contract period included a variety of equipment upgrades and technology enhancements to ensure the site stays competitive and in anticipation of future growth opportunities."

The Baton Rouge Chemical Plant sits along Scenic Highway, just north of the crude oil refinery, and produces 6.1 billion pounds of petrochemical products each year ranging from adhesives to rubber liner for tires and isopropyl alcohol. 

ExxonMobil is seeking incentives through the Enterprise Zone program, which is a sales tax credit of either $3,500 one-time or $1,000 for each new job in addition to a rebate of state sales and use taxes on materials such as machinery or equipment or 1.5% refundable investment tax credit on the total value of the capital investment. The Enterprise Zone program doesn't require local approval, unlike the state's property tax abatement program. 

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ExxonMobil already is expected to spend $410 million for modernization efforts at its 500,000-barrel-per-day crude oil refinery nearby. All the local taxing entities, such as the school board, parish council and sheriff's office, approved an Industrial Tax Exemption Program tax abatement for that project in recent weeks. 

The company has been connecting with small businesses to expand its supplier network as it embarks on these maintenance and modernization projects at the integrated petrochemical facility. 

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Email Kristen Mosbrucker at kmosbrucker@theadvocate.com.