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Multibillion-dollar complex still a possibility for Victoria

Kathryn Cargo By Kathryn Cargo

Nov. 13, 2016 at midnight
Updated Nov. 15, 2016 at midnight

Robert Tully, venture executive for Exonn Mobil Gulf Coast Growth

Robert Tully, venture executive for Exonn Mobil Gulf Coast Growth   Kathryn Cargo for The Victoria Advocate

Exxon Mobil and Saudi Arabia Basic Industries will announce where they will build their multibillion-dollar petrochemical complex at the end of this year or the beginning of next year.

Victoria County is one of four sites being considered for the complex along with San Patricio County and Ascension and St. James parishes in Louisiana, said Robert Tully, venture executive for Exxon Mobil Gulf Coast Growth Ventures. Fifty sites were surveyed along the Gulf Coast.

"I can tell you, Victoria is very high on that list of four," Tully said.

Tully spoke at the annual Victoria Economic Development Corporation membership meeting Thursday.

Regardless of whether Victoria is chosen for the site, the same aspects that made the community attractive for the project will make it a possible location for future projects, Tully said.

"Just within Exxon Mobil, I know of several other projects that are earlier in the pipelines," he said. "There is more coming because there is more gas. The demand is coming."

The Port of Victoria, which is where the complex would be located if the Crossroads is chosen for the project, is a great site that has access to deep water, Tully said. Another factor that made Victoria attractive was working with city and county officials.

"You guys have been really great to work with," he said. "There's also good infrastructure here to support growth."

A site for the complex has to offer an ideal location that has deep water access to be able to import specialized equipment for the plant, Tully said.

A community that is supportive of the project and willing to work with the Exxon-Saudi partnership is important because a lot of infrastructure will be put in place, and traffic in the area will increase.

"You have to have a community that is willing to work with you to figure out solutions to that problem," he said.

The plant is expected to create more than 600 new permanent jobs and about 3,500 indirect and induced jobs during operations. The plant also would create about 11,000 construction jobs during the five-year construction phase.

Exxon Mobil and Saudi Arabia Basic Industries are very early in the process of the project and have extensive studies, due diligence to perform and permits to obtain before reaching a final investment decision.

Exxon Mobil, the largest integrated oil company in the world, produces 4 million barrels of oil a day and produces 2 percent of the world's energy, Tully said.


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